While I Was Away

English & Japanese MG & Up Asian-American Experience Japanese-American Own Voices Growing Up Family Language Learning SEL Waka T. Brown summary Waka is a Japanese-American sixth grader in rural Kansas in the 1980’s. At home, her family speaks Japanese almost exclusively, but Waka is behind in reading and writing in kanji. After a few incidents…

There Must Be More Than That!

English 5 years & Up Humor Existenial Crises Intergenerational Relationships Family Philosophy Shinsuke Yoshitake Summary: I try to share a mix of books that address underrepresented topics and aspects of history in school as well as books that are joyful. There Must Be More Than That! is definitely on the side of sassy and goofy,…

More-igami

Written by: Dori Kleber Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas For ages: 4-9 years Language:  English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Culture & Traditions, Social-Emotional Development, Self-Expression. Summary: Joey loves things that fold.  He is enamored by maps and accordions, and sleeps in a foldout bed.  When Joey learns about origami from his friend Sarah Takimoto’s mother, he decides he MUST become an…

My First Book of Japanese Words

Written by: Michelle Haney Brown Illustrated by: Aya Padrón For ages: 4 years and up Language: English & Japanese Topics Covered: Bilingualism, Japanese Culture & Traditions, Literacy, Global Community. Summary: This alphabetical rhyming book provides multiple languages and a short poem on each page, and is jam packed with information about literacy, culture, and language!  The book explains how some letters…

yayoi kusama: from here to infinity

more books about artists Summary:  Yayoi was born on the island on Honshu, in Japan.  Her family lived in the countryside and owned plant nurseries, but Yayoi longed to be an artist. When she was 28, Yayoi bravely moved to New York City by herself. She didn’t have much money, but she painted and painted…

Natsumi!

Written by: Susan Lendroth Illustrated by: Priscilla Burris For ages: 4-8 years Language: English Topics Covered: Self-Expression, Family Acceptance, Asian Families, Culture and Traditions, Self-Esteem, Japanese Culture Summary: Natsumi is a young Japanese girl that is constantly being told things like “slow down!”, “not so fast!”, and “not so loud!”.  When the community is gearing up for a special holiday, Natsumi…