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Celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Maya from MaiStoryBook

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month (APIH Month). It is a month to celebrate, appreciate, and recognize the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Part of recognizing and appreciating a culture and history is to give it recognition and representation in the media. However, according to the The Cooperative Children's Book Center 2019 children's book survey, only 8.7% of children's books contain Asian or Asian American characters~ and the percentage is even less for children's books featuring Pacific Islander Characters.

I'm happy to share that over the past 2 years, I've seen an increase in Asian representation in KidLit. However, there is still a long way to go~ especially for *all* Asian identities, and especially Pacific Islander identities, to be represented, so we'll continue to support, amplify, and call for more #ownvoices Asian and Pacific Islander stories.

This month, I'm teaming up with the Madison Reading Project to share 20 of my current favorite API Reads : 5 Board Books, 5 Picture Books, 5 Middle Grade Books, and 5 Graphic Novels. You'll also find a selection of my favorite API Book-inspired crafts, and AAPI Interactive Read Aloud Videos.

Plus this May, make sure to follow along on MaiStoryBook's YouTube Channel for a NEW Asian American Read Aloud Video Every Friday this month, and follow @Maistorybooklibrary on IG, for a Full week of Asian American KidLit Giveaways the first week of May, and an API Book Bundle Giveaway Every Monday in May!

For more details on all of MaiStoryBook's AAPI Month festivities, and the full collection of AAPI Reads, Crafts, and Videos, head over to


Below I’m highlighting 20 of mai favorite AAPI Books split into 4 different categories: 5 Board Books, 5 Picture Books, 5 Middle Grade Books, and 5 Graphic Novels. Click on the Title to add the book to your own collection.

For the Full API Book Collection, head over to MaiStoryBook's Blog.

5 Board Books

Bitty Bao Board Books by Lacey Benard & Lulu Cheng // Adorable Bilingual board books available in simplified or Traditional Chinese characters. Cantonese books coming soon too! They cover many different topics and have the cutest cut-out illustrations.

Mini Love Tales by Conny Wong // Loving, rhyming board books mini series with Asian themes and culture. The cute plushies are the perfect pairings with these sweet board books featuring Asian dishes and Asian roots.

Baby Snack Time by Judy Li // “Baby Snack Time” is a bilingual board book written in English and Mandarin with pinyin. It's perfect for ages 1-6. Baby Snack Time celebrates Asian culture with nostalgic snacks that many Asian family households grew up with.