8 Picture Books We Love From AAPI Authors

Every May we commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrating the immeasurable contributions the AAPI community has made throughout U.S. history. From advancing the Civil Rights Movement to innovating technology, to researching in space, the ways in which Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have enriched our nation are as diverse as the cultures themselves.

To bring this celebration home for our little ones, we’re shining a spotlight on the folks our kids truly couldn’t live without: storytellers. Below we highlight some of our favorite picture books by AAPI writers. These are the books that have lulled our babies to sleep, whisked them off on adventures, and shown them a breadth of experiences.

Where we could, we linked each book to an independent book store owned by a member of the AAPI community. 

Crystal Z. Lee

1. A Unicorn Named Rin

This sweet story takes any small child's dream equation (unicorn + princess + dragon) and adds a dash of epic adventure, with lessons on Chinese history and culture.

Ranjit Singh

2. Nimesh the Adventurer

Nimesh may be little, but his imagination is anything but. Readers will delight in his outlandish adventures as he takes what should be an ordinary walk through his neighborhood.

Minh Le

3. Drawn Together

A young boy and his grandfather may not speak the same language, but through art and story, they forge a moving and beautiful bond.

Joanna Ho

4. Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

This gorgeously illustrated story follows a young girl's journey to embracing what makes her special.

Amy Tan

5. The Moon Lady

Vibrant illustration's bring Amy Tan's words to life, weaving a story of three young sisters who lap up every moment of their grandmother's wish-filled tale.

Meena Patel

6. Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala

Darling illustrations enhance this heartwarming story of family, culture, and the magic of memory.

Phung Nguyen Quang

7. My First Day

Sparse lyrical text and whimsical artwork beckon little readers to the page for a story of a brave boy's journey to school on his first day.

Hena Khan

8. Like the Moon Loves the Sky

If your child's bedtime routine is in need of a new comfort read, this lovely book from Hena Khan is it. With sweet illustrations and a message inspired by the Quran, "Like the Moon Loves the Sky" is a book about a family's love.