Grandparents: Asian Pacific American Heritage

In these stories, young people of Asian Pacific American backgrounds get to know their grandparents, sometimes in person and sometimes at a distance. Through their shared experiences and interests, the children come to appreciate their family history and heritage, as well as the language spoken by their grandparents.

A Gift for Gita

Illustrated by: Alice Priestley
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Gita has made friends in her adopted home, but is now faced with the possibility of returning to India where most of her relatives still live. A Gift for Gita is a touching story about the importance of friendship and stability and the meaning of "home." This is the final book in the critically acclaimed series.

Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon

Illustration of Amy Wu with dragons
By: Kat Zhang
Illustrated by: Charlene Chua
Age Level: 3-6

Amy loves craft time at school. But when her teacher asks everyone to make their own dragon, Amy feels stuck. Her first dragon has a long, wingless body, stag-like horns, and eagle claws, but her friends don’t think it’s a real dragon. Then she makes dragons like theirs, but none of them feels quite right...None of them feels like hers. After school, a story from Grandma sparks new inspiration, and Amy rounds up her family to help her.

Behind the Mask

Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Product Description: Halloween is coming. "What are you going to be?" the children ask one another. Kimin says he will be his grandfather. "Going as an old man is not very scary," They tease. What the children don't know is that Kimin's grandfather was a Korean mask dancer. And Kimin doesn't know that the mask holds a secret for him. With vibrant illustrations, Yangsook Choi joins Korean and American folk traditions in her story about a boy who finds a link to his grandfather, behind the mask.

Dear Juno

Young boy sitting with his pet
Illustrated by: Susan Kathleen Hartung
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Juno can barely wait to open the letter that has arrived from his grandmother in Seoul, but he needs his parents to read it since it's written in Korean! Finally he decides he can wait no longer and he finds inside a leaf and a photo of a cat. Juno responds by drawing pictures for his grandmother, and when she sends him a pack of colored pencils, he knows she would like more of his letters. This quiet, beautiful story celebrates the joy of exchanging letters with a loved one and the importance of maintaining strong family ties no matter the distance.

Drawn Together

A grandfather hugging his grandson
By: Minh Lê
Illustrated by: Dan Santat
Age Level: 6-9

When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens - with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words. With spare, direct text by Minh Lê and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring picturebook about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come. Winner of the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book.

Gigi and Ojiji

Young girl walking with her grandfather
Age Level: 3-6

Gigi can’t wait for her Ojiji — Japanese grandpa — to move in. Gigi plans lots of things to do with him, like playing tag, reading books, and teaching Roscoe, the family dog, new tricks. But her plans don’t work out quite the way she’d hoped. And her grandpa doesn’t seem to like Roscoe. Will Gigi find a way to connect with her Ojiji?

Going Home, Coming Home/ Ve Nha, Tham Que Huong

Going Home, Coming Home/ Ve Nha, Tham Que Huong
Illustrated by: Ann Phong
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Vietnamese

American born Ami Chi travels to her parents' native Vietnam, to visit her grandmother. There she finds that some things don't change — like friendship — even in a strange, new land. Bilingually told and illustrated by richly colored paintings, Ami's story has resonance.

Grandfather Counts

Illustrated by: Ange Zhang
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Helen has trouble communicating with her grandfather who has just moved to the United States from China. She speaks no Chinese, Gong Gong speaks no English. Nonetheless, they begin to learn from the other as they watch and count trains together.

Grandfather's Journey

Grandfather's Journey
By: Allen Say
Age Level: 6-9

A young man travels from his native Japan to the vast country called America before returning to visit his home with his bride. The exquisite watercolors give the appearance of a family photo album as it relates this autobiographical but universal story of immigration.

 

Grandfather's Story Cloth

Grandfather's Story Cloth

Product Description: Chersheng's grandfather is beginning to forget things: little things like turning off the water faucet and big things like Chersheng's name. Then Chersheng's mother presents him with a story cloth stitched by Grandfather himself, embroidered in the Hmong tradition, and Grandfather's memories of his life in Laos come alive.

Grandmother's Visit

Young girl in a garden
Illustrated by: Carmen Mok

Carmen Mok's gentle illustrations show the love between a child and her grandmother in this story that will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one. Winner of the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book Honor.

Heroes

Illustrated by: Dom Lee
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

From the author of Baseball Saved Us comes an intergenerational story that describes how a Japanese-American family deals with the painful legacy of war. Set against the backdrop of the 1960s and talk of Vietnam, it offers a universal message of dignity and courage to anyone who feels they are different. Full-color illustrations.

Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

Illustration of child with grandfather and food
By: F. Zia
Illustrated by: Ken Min
Age Level: 6-9

Aneel's grandparents have come to stay, all the way from India. Aneel loves the sweet smell of his grandmother's incense, and his grandfather, Dada-ji, tells the world's best stories. When he was a boy, adventurous, energetic Dada-ji had the power of a tiger. He could shake mangoes off trees and wrangle wild cobras. And what gave him his power? Fluffy-puffy hot, hot roti, with a bit of tongue-burning mango pickle. Does Dada-ji still have the power? Aneel wants to find out — but first he has to figure out how to whip up a batch of hot, hot roti!

Measuring Up

Illustration of tween cooking
Illustrated by: Ann Xu
Age Level: 9-12, Middle Grade

Twelve-year-old Cici has just moved from Taiwan to Seattle, and the only thing she wants more than to fit in at her new school is to celebrate her grandmother, A-má's, seventieth birthday together. Since she can't go to A-má, Cici cooks up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids’ cooking contest to pay for A-má’s plane ticket! There’s just one problem: Cici only knows how to cook Taiwanese food. And after her pickled cucumber debacle at lunch, she’s determined to channel her inner Julia Child.

My Grandfather's Song

Grandfather and son in a boat
Illustrated by: Huynh Kim Liên
Age Level: 6-9

Long ago, Grandfather came to a new land. Fish swam in the water, birds chirped in the sky, monkeys played in the trees. And in this wilderness, with his own two hands, Grandfather built a house. It wasn't easy. But the land gave him what he needed. And it became his home. Decades later, his grandson will have all he needs: a head full of memories, two capable hands, and the heart to appreciate family, nature, and home. This picture book creates a warm symphony of conservation and the sacred bond between grandparent and child.

Pacy Lin #3: Dumpling Days

Young Chinese American girl surrounded by illustrations
By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Pacy is back! This summer, Pacy's family is going to Taiwan for an entire month to visit family and prepare for their grandmother's 60th birthday celebration. Pacy's parents have signed her up for a Chinese painting class, and at first she's excited. But everything about the trip is harder than she thought it would be. At least the dumplings are delicious…

The Falling Flowers

Illustrated by: Henry Cole
Age Level: Middle Grade

Grandmother has a surprise for Mayumie — is it a visit to the zoo, a museum, or the big city? When they finally reach their destination, Mayumie understands what makes visiting a cherry blossom grove so special: the beautiful pink flowers only bloom once a year! Readers will be enchanted by the magic of the story and the illustrations that capture the stunning colors of the cherry blossom trees. An author's note provides historical details, as well as information on the cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC.

The Have a Good Day Cafe

Boy and grandmother near cafe umbrella
Illustrated by: Giselle Potter
Age Level: 6-9

Mike's Korean grandmother is still adjusting to her move to the U.S. While Mike helps her learn English, she helps the family, which owns a food cart, beat stiff competition. The family once did a good business serving pizza, bagels, and hot dogs on a busy corner, but now two other carts serving similar fare have moved in. Mike's idea — to serve delicious Korean specialties that only Grandma knows how to make — saves the business and also helps Grandma feel at home. — Booklist

The Key Collection

The Key Collection
Illustrated by: Yangsook Choi
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Xiao Jimmy's Grandma Ni Ni is his favorite person in all the world. Ni Ni cooks delicious jiao zi, teaches Jimmy Chinese characters, and always has wonderful stories and fascinating objects — like the key collection — to share with him. So when Jimmy learns that Ni Ni must move far away to California, he feels he is losing his best friend. In time, however, Jimmy discovers there are ways to bridge distance, and to make new friends in the process.

The Thing About Luck

The Thing About Luck

There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck — which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family in this winner of the National Book Award by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata. Summer knows that kouun means "good luck" in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan — right before harvest season.

Where’s Halmoni?

Illustration of tiger peeking around door
By: Julie Kim
Age Level: 6-9

In this fun adventure story inspired by Korean folktales, young Noona and her little brother Joon step into a fantastical land to find their missing Halmoni ("grandmother"). Their journey partitions into three sections, each highlighting lovable or distrusted figures from traditional stories who help or hinder the kids as they search.