Mommy Time By Monique James-Duncan Illustrated by Ebony Glenn Candlewick, 2023, $17.99
A lively toddler and his preschool-aged sister enjoy dancing, singing, snacking, strolling and even visiting the dentist – as long as Mommy is along, because Mommy time is full of playful and tender moments. The rhythmic text and expressive illustrations offer a kid’s-eye view of the care and structure mothers bring to their children’s lives. Plan a read-aloud for Mother’s Day on May 14 – and whenever you want to applaud a mother’s love and hard work.
Ages 3 – 7
Danbi’s Favorite Day By Anna Kim Viking, 2023, $18.99
Danbi is planning something special for Children’s Day, a Korean holiday that she wants to celebrate in the United States as well. She promises kites, magic castles and tigers to the neighborhood kids. Her patient parents help her set more realistic expectations, with supplies from their deli, and then salvage her picnic when a storm blows through. In the end, her party joyfully honors “all the children on Earth” as the leaders of tomorrow. Like Danbi, author/illustrator Anna Kim was born in South Korea and grew up and continues to reside in the United States. This book is perfect for Children’s Day, on May 5, and for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
Ages 8 – 13
We Are Here By Naomi Hirahara Illustrated by Illi Ferandez Running Press Kids, 2022, $17.99
Older kids can honor Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have made important contributions to the United States by diving into these short, fascinating profiles. Just two examples: Popular actor and former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is descended from a royal family in Samoa and is the grandson of a high chief, who was also a wrestler. And for her pioneering work in science, Chien-Shiung Wu became known as the “first lady of physics.”
A First Time for Everything By Dan Santat First Second, 2023, $14.99
In his first graphic memoir, acclaimed author/illustrator Dan Santat chronicles his first trip abroad with a middle school group. Readers will groan in empathy as 13-year-old Dan says goodbye at the airport to his Thai immigrant parents, who (like all parents) make loud, embarrassing comments about his grouchy teen attitude and obsession with video games. Soon, though, young Dan is experiencing the joys of Fanta and baguettes in Paris, sketching the Alps in Switzerland and talking and laughing with the other kids, including one special girl. The three weeks he initially dreaded prove to be full of funny, surprising and even life-changing moments.
Life Beyond Sight Maryland School for the Blind Val Smalkin
“Life Beyond Sight” is a collection of powerful songs that will make you listen closely and sing out loud. From the moving and powerful “Not With My Eyes” to the joyous chorus of “Dance of Freedom,” these songs don’t merely “ring true,” they speak – no they SHOUT – with a clarity and honesty that is impactful in a whole new way. There’s courageous honesty from both the songs and the singers that helps them share their unique experience in ways that we all can relate to. Most of us can only imagine what it’s like to not be able to see – but each of us knows what it’s like to feel unseen in some way. Available on iTunes, Spotify and other streaming sites.