Skip to main content

As a Korean American mother of two, I’ve made it a priority to fill our shelves at home with children’s books celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander stories and cultures.

Over the years, a few titles have become favorites. Here are five books my children ask to read over and over again.

Bee-bim Bop!, by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee

A little girl helps her mother prepare the iconic Korean dish bibimbap, from shopping for ingredients to setting the table. Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park’s fun rhymes and onomatopoeia and Ho Baek Lee’s illustrations bring the process to life while also capturing the precious bonds of family. Recipe included!

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, by Natasha Yim, illustrated by Grace Zong

After a series of unlucky events befalls her at the Chans’ house, can Goldy Luck help make things right with her panda neighbors in time for the Chinese New Year? Natasha Yim’s eye for cultural details, along with a satisfying resolution, make this an excellent adaptation of the classic Goldilocks story.

Tiptoe Tapirs, by Hanmin Kim

Long ago, the animals were not quiet like they are today. They were very loud! All except for Little Tapir and Tapir. When a hunter comes to shoot the animals, Little Tapir’s quiet courage saves the life of a leopard—and perhaps even the whole jungle. Accompanied by unique watercolor illustrations, author Hanmin Kim champions the power of gentleness.

Dumpling Soup, by Jama Kim Rattigan, illustrated by Lillian Hsu-Flanders

On the island of Oahu, Hawaii, the Yang family is gathering to celebrate the new year, and it’s Marisa’s first time helping to make dumpling soup—but she just can’t seem to get it right. Will her grandma, cousins, aunts, and uncles like her dumplings? This story by Jama Kim Rattigan captures the bustle and warmth of a family gathering while also celebrating the small but significant milestones of childhood.

Yoko, by Rosemary Wells

When Yoko brings sushi to school for lunch, her classmates tease her. But Rosemary Wells’ Yoko is not afraid to take on the difficulties of showing how to respect one another’s differences in the classroom, and its tender conclusion is not to be missed. For those who want more, check out the other books in the Yoko series.

We Are Counting on You

The Banner is more than a magazine; it’s a ministry that impacts lives and connects us all. Your gift helps provide this important denominational gathering space for every person and family in the CRC.

Give Now