Bilingual Books: Asian Pacific American Heritage

These books present stories in multiple languages, including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese and are wonderful resources to use at home or in school.

At the Beach

Age Level: 3-6

Xiao Ming and his mother are spending a summer day at the beach, and the sand is the perfect place to draw characters for words such as "sand" and "water." Xiao Ming's mother helps him see the picture within each character — a trick sure to appeal to readers new to the Chinese written language. The colorful, intricate illustrations, created by cut-paper collages, will fascinate young children. This book is one of a four-part series by the author about Chinese characters related to the different seasons.

Going Home, Coming Home/ Ve Nha, Tham Que Huong

Illustrated by: Ann Phong
Age Level: 6-9

American born Ami Chi travels to her parents' native Vietnam, to visit her grandmother. There she finds that some things don't change — like friendship — even in a strange, new land. Bilingually told and illustrated by richly colored paintings, Ami's story has resonance.

In the Leaves

Age Level: 3-6

Xiao Ming and his friends are spending an autumn day on a farm, and it is the perfect place for him to show his friends how draw different Chinese characters for words such as "grain" and "fire." The colorful, gentle illustrations, created by cut-paper collages, will appeal to young children. This book is one of a four-part series by the author about Chinese characters related to the different seasons.

In the Park

Age Level: 3-6

Spring has arrived and Xiao Ming can't wait to spend the day in the park with his mother. All around them are signs of the season: insects flying, leaves on the trees, and flowers in bloom. Xiao Ming's mother teaches Xiao Ming how to write the words for these things in Chinese by first drawing pictures of them. Following the highly acclaimed At the Beach and In the Snow, this is Huy Voun Lee's third book on Chinese character writing.

In the Snow

Age Level: 3-6

Xiao Ming and his mother are spending a winter day in the forest, and the snow is the perfect place to draw characters for words such as "tree" and "sparkling." Xiao Ming's mother helps him see the picture within each character — a trick sure to appeal to readers new to the Chinese written language. The colorful, intricate illustrations, created by cut-paper collages, will fascinate young children. This book is one of a four-part series by the author about Chinese characters related to the different seasons.

Pie-Biter

Age Level: 6-9

As a young boy, Hoi comes to America from China to help build the railroad. Only a skinny boy at first, his love for American pies quickly helps him gain in size and strength — and earns him the nickname of Pie-Biter. Pie-Biter eventually became a successful trader with the help of Spanish Louis, and while no one knows what happened to Pie-Biter when he returned to China, travelers from China often talk about the pie shops in their villages — serving Pie-Biter's favorite flavors! Trilingual in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

This Next New Year

Illustrated by: Yangsook Choi
Age Level: 3-6

Janet Wong shares a young boy's hopes and dreams for the New Year — he has had so much bad luck in the past year, but he is certain that this year will be much luckier! A heartwarming and honest portrayal of what the chance to start over means for all of us. An author's note provides insight into her background and this festive occasion.  This book is also available in Chinese and Korean bilingual editions.