Across the United States, communities have rallied in support of Asian Americans after horrific attacks and targeted murders. Groups like Compassion Oakland have assembled volunteers to chaperone Asian American elders so they can walk safely throughout their neighborhoods. And adults are not the only ones taking action. Middle schoolers have organized marches and galvanized their communities to stop Asian hate.
While there is a long history of racism and violence against Asian Americans in the United States, there are also science-backed ways to combat hatred and divisions. Because racism is so deeply entrenched in our society, it’s important to help kids cultivate empathy, understanding, and belonging early in life.
According to decades of research, intergroup contact—encountering people from different groups—is an effective way to combat prejudice. One easy way parents and educators can leverage this research is by reading diverse and authentically representative picture books to their children.
As the esteemed multicultural children’s literature scholar Rudine Sims Bishop explained, books can be “windows and mirrors.” As “windows,” books can offer children a view into a real or imagined world different from their own that can be gently explored, understood, and appreciated. A 2016 study found that children who were read stories showing positive relationships between majority and minority children improved their attitudes about groups of people outside their own group. This was more powerful for children who were five to eight years old, compared to nine to twelve.
Diverse and authentically representative picture books also validate Asian American children’s own experiences. Books can be mirrors “reflecting back for us the joys and sorrows, the loves and hates, the pain and pleasure of living,” described Sims Bishop. She further explained, “Through the mirror of literature we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, of reaffirming our place in the world and our society.” Picture books are powerful because of the visual representations of the world they offer to the youngest readers.
But children’s picture books continue to lack diverse and authentic representation. A 2015 study of the 455 picture books published in 2012 found that only 5% of picture books showed Asian, Latinx, Native American, and Middle Eastern characters as the primary culture. Of the over 3,000 children’s books published in 2018, books about animals exceeded the number of books about all children of color.
One of us (Jane Park) published a children’s picture book to create a story that would serve as a mirror for her own Korean American children and a natural example of cross-racial friendship. And, as parents, we have sought out picture books with authentic representations of diverse cultures to read to our kids.
Based on that experience, we have compiled a list of exceptional children’s picture books about and by the Asian American community. The books on this list do not portray Asian Americans as exotic, foreign, or “other.” As acclaimed author Linda Sue Park noted, books like The Snowy Day that feature characters whose ethnicity is clearly a part of their identity without being the story’s principal subject continue to be rare. “Every Asian or Asian American book I have ever read to my kids has been about food or some sort of Asian celebration,” recounts Serena Chen, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Chen’s research explores the self, identity, and relationships. She explained, “It is important to have people of all backgrounds be represented in everyday life, so they are not pigeon-holed. Constraints on how minorities are represented in books perpetuates stereotypes about minority groups.”
Cartile despre sarbatori, hrana sau imigratie sunt importante, dar – pentru a evita „altevirea” din greseala a asiaticilor americani – trebuie, de asemenea, sa expunem tinerii la naratiuni despre copii (cum ar fi cele de mai jos) care nu centreaza identitatea ca principala. poveste.

Clever Little Witch, de Muon Thi Van si Hyewon Yum

Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2019, 40 de pagini.
Aceasta poveste fantezica este despre o sora mai mare, Mica Linh, care isi doreste ca fratele ei mai mic, Baby Phu, sa se piarda dupa ce o enerveaza necontenit. Ea vine cu un plan de transformare pentru a-i ajuta sa se inteleaga – dar este aceasta idee inteligenta solutia la care a sperat cu adevarat, pana la urma
Clever Little Witch exploreaza experienta aproape universala a conflictului intre frati si distreaza cu umor capacitatea copiilor de a rezolva probleme cu gandirea magica. Copiii sunt invitati sa descopere ca, desi fratii pot fi uneori exasperanti, calitatile lor rascumparatoare stralucesc atunci cand va asteptati mai putin si va reamintesc cat de pretioase pot fi aceste relatii.

Cum sa rezolvi o problema: Ascensiunea (si caderile) unui campion de alpinism, de Ashima Shiraishi si Yao Xiao

Make Me a World, 2020, 40 de pagini.
Tinerii cititori vor fi inspirati de povestea adevarata a lui Ashima Shiraishi, o adolescenta care a inceput alpinismul pe stanca cand avea doar sase ani. Ca alpinist, Ashima cade in jos in mod repetat si se ridica de fiecare data cu noi cunostinte despre cum sa-si intinda corpul si sa navigheze pe creste in timp ce escaladeaza bolovani. Pentru alpinisti, bolovanii sunt probleme mari pe care le rezolvati singuri, descompunandu-le in parti mici. Cum sa rezolvi o problema arata cum sa acceptam esecul ca fiind valoros, deoarece ne invata sa privim o problema intr-un mod nou si cu o perspectiva mai buna. Povestea evidentiaza pentru copii fiorul de a gasi lucruri noi, dificile de facut, fara a acoperi numeroasele greseli – ascensiuni si coborari – care sunt o parte asteptata a procesului.

Borcanul Junei, de Jane Bahk si Felicia Hoshino
Lee & Low Books, 2015, 32 pages.
Juna and Hector are best friends, whose favorite pastime is exploring nature together at their neighborhood park. They use empty kimchi jars to collect critters, rocks, and other natural treasures they find. One day, Juna abruptly learns from Hector’s abuela that he moved away. She misses her friend and wonders how she might be able to see him again. Her big brother, Minho, tries to cheer Juna up by helping her find new things for her empty jar. Each night, whatever they put in the jar takes Juna on marvelous nature adventures to find Hector. Juna’s Jar highlights the importance of friendship and supportive sibling relationships in children’s lives. Juna shows children that although the path may be unclear at first, they can find a way forward when their lives change unexpectedly.

Lift, de Minh Le si Dan Santat

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020, 56 de pagini.
Big sister Iris lives in an apartment building with her parents and little brother, who is only a toddler. Her responsibility in the family is to push the elevator button when they go out. She can always count on the incomparable power of pushing the elevator button to bring her joy when she is feeling down. So, when her little brother usurps her button-pushing duties—to the delight of her parents—Iris feels utterly let down. But she becomes hopeful when she notices the elevator repairman throwing the old elevator button in the trash. Iris quickly grabs the button and takes it home, where she secretly puts it to magical use. After a while, Iris finds an even more uplifting way to enjoy amazing elevator-button adventures. Lift underscores how our own acts of generosity can elevate our life experiences.

Our Favorite Day, de Joowon Oh

Candlewick, 2019, 32 de pagini.
In fiecare zi, tata urmeaza o rutina. El bea ceai de dimineata, isi uda plantele si merge in oras cu autobuzul. Dar intr-o zi pe saptamana, el face lucrurile putin diferit. Joi, ridica galuste suplimentare de la restaurantul sau preferat, cumpara rechizite de artizanat si culege flori. Zilele de joi sunt speciale pentru ca este momentul in care nepoata lui cea mica vine in vizita. Aceasta poveste minunata despre legatura speciala dintre bunic si nepoata va prinde radacini in inima ta. Ilustratiile din hartie taiata si acuarelele aduc profunzime si textura acestei povesti simple si emotionante.

Puddle, de Hyewon Yum

FSG Books for Young Readers, 2016, 40 de pagini.
Intr-o zi ploioasa, un baiat este suparat pentru ca nu poate sa iasa la joaca. Este hotarat sa ramana intr-o dispozitie proasta si respinge ideea ca s-ar putea distra in casa. Dar cand mama lui incepe sa deseneze, el nu poate sa nu devina curios. El incepe sa dea contributii si impreuna colaboreaza si creeaza o scena distractiva de zi ploioasa. Ei decid sa-si transforme scena imaginativa in realitate si se aventureaza ei insisi sa se joace in ploaie. Aceasta poveste „M-am plictisit” incurajeaza creativitatea si colaborarea.

Redwoods, de Jason Chin

Roaring Book Press, 2009, 40 de pagini.
Calatoria banala cu metroul a unui baiat dintr-un oras mare este transformata cand gaseste o carte despre sequoia. Cu fiecare informatie noua, el este scos din New York si transportat intr-o padure veche de sequoie. Pe masura ce exploreaza, aflam fapte fascinante despre copacii stravechi. Cand baiatul se intoarce in oras, este capabil sa transmita minunea altui copil. Plina de lectii interesante, aceasta carte ilustrata non-fictiune este plina de arta si captivanta.

Super Satya Saves the Day, de Raakhee Mirchandani si Tim Palin

Bharat Babies, 2018, 32 de pagini.
Lui Satya ii lipseste pelerina ei de supererou! Pelerina ei este la curatatoria chimica din cartier si se simte nervoasa ca trece ziua fara superputeri. Pe parcursul zilei, Satya inca reuseste sa vina in salvarea prietenilor ei, gasind jucarii si animale de companie pierdute. Isi da seama ca puterile ei vin din interior si ca nu are nevoie de pelerina pentru a fi Super Satya. Cu ilustratii distractive si pline de viata, aceasta carte are o eroina simpatica si un puternic simt al decorului care arata comunitatea ei diversificata.