10 Best Children’s Books centering East Asian Americans (ages 3-7)

I’m a big reader and have kept a list of sweet children’s books for my kids. They don’t quite love reading as much as I do but hopefully they will eventually!

How this book list got started

In 2020, I was beginning to learn more about how children’s books, movies and shows, influence children from a very early age. It was coming up on Dr. Seuss week at school. I had this internal conflict about my kids celebrating an author that had many racist stories and imagery. I asked our pre-school director if she was open to a donation of books that centered an alternative narrative. She was so warm about it and actually enlisted all of the parents at the school to make their contributions. We came up with a big list and parents started chipping in! I felt so supported by our pre-school community and grateful for our friendships with the parents and staff. 

This year, Dr. Seuss week came around again. My oldest son is now in First grade and he has a teacher who identifies as Black, from Haiti. I wasn’t sure how she felt about celebrating Dr. Seuss until our parent teacher conference. She told us about what our son said to her first thing Monday, “Ms. S, Dr. Seuss is a racist.” 

She wasn’t sure how to reply but asked, “Maverick, what does being racist mean?” 

Maverick responded, “It means he doesn’t like people like you and me. Black People and Chinese People.” She then told us how she felt conflicted about celebrating Dr. Seuss and in that moment, she decided she wasn’t going to. It felt like Maverick liberated her from having to teach materials she wasn’t comfortable with. 

If you don’t know about the history of Dr. Seuss, search on Google for some articles. 

10 Children's books for East Asian Americans

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I am missing children’s book recommendations for South East Asians, South Asians, Pacific Islanders so if you have any recommendations to add, please drop them in the comments!

Cindy Halvorsen

Cindy Halvorsen

The Leadership Coach for Asian Americans.
I'll help you reach the level of success you deserve and desire.

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I’m the Leadership Coach for Asian Americans that you never thought you needed.

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