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Our AANHPI Family Faves

All week long on our socials (& really, in our house, every week of the year) we've been celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We've shared some of our favorites about food, culture, books in a series, nonfiction, and middle grade/young adult reads. This month, we recognize and celebrate the contributions that those of Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage continue to bring to the world. We're celebrating the unique journey of all AANHPI citizens by recognizing and appreciating their life experiences, traditions, and cultures. We hope you continue to diversify your bookshelves & discover a world of diverse voices and captivating stories with our full selection of books listed here:

Every week our family heads to multiple different libraries traveling 30 mins each way in search of books that fit our themed shelves. Some books we will read once or twice and, while the kids love them, they are ready to let another family read & love them too. But some books, well, some books, we have to read multiple times a day all week long. Sometimes we read them multiple times in one sitting. The ones the kids put up a stink about having to return them to the library & end up on their always-growing gift ideas list. These are the ones I'm sharing now.

Just one of the AANHPI shelf setups we had this month!

Here are our collective AANHPI favorites:

Luli and the Language of Tea

You all know how much I love my tea. I drink multiple cups a day & I host a weekly afternoon tea story time with my kids. This book was our first ever tea story time read and we've read it at least 10 other weeks for tea time too. When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can't speak English, neither can anyone else. That's when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together. Informed by her own experience as the child of Chinese immigrant parents, Andrea Wang makes the point that when you're looking to communicate with people, you look for a common bond. The word for "tea" is similar in many languages, and tea becomes the unifying metaphor that brings a diverse group of children together. Perfect read for back-to-school, my favorite teachers, just saying.

Sari-Sari Summers

YOU GUYS -- this book is our new summer read. We read this one constantly. Plus the author illustrator Lynnor Bontigao is absolutely the sweetest person I've ever "met" through social media and I promise you all that I will be hugging her someday. An ode to the Philippines and to beautiful grandmas, Nora, a young girl comes up with a brilliantly delicious way to attract customers after a heat wave leaves her lola's store empty. You know I'm a sucker for intergenerational stories and celebrating the ingenuity of girls, this sweet story inspires so much summer fun. There is even a recipe for making mango ice candy like Nora's in the back of the book!!

Usha and the Big Digger

This one has all the makings for a MOSS Kids' favorite: a little bit of space, a construction vehicle, cartwheels, math concepts -- it has it all. When sisters Usha and Aarti look up at the stars, they see different things. Aarti sees the Big Dipper, but Usha sees the Big DIGGER. And cousin Gloria sees the Big Kite! Could they all be right? A playful introduction to geometry and spatial relationships. We read this one laying down on our backs looking up at the book & honestly it's the only way to properly read it!

Long Goes to Dragon School

This book is going to create lifelong fantasy readers as the first spread of the book is a MAP. For all of us who enjoy fantasy reads, you're in for a treat. It's the first day of Dragon School, where all the young dragons must learn how to harness their fire-breathing skills. Today's lesson? Using it to cook food! All the dragons are excited to test their powers . . . except Long. Long is from the East and can only breathe out water. Will his talents be discovered? Or will Long find his own unique path to cooking-and to fitting in? Wrapped in Eastern and Western dragon lore, this fantasy tale celebrates perseverance, cultural inclusion, and self-discovery. The story is the perfect read aloud & beautifully illustrated. A must-read for back to school!!

Holding On

This one is a tearjerker. Although, I cry at old people winning on The Price is Right so maybe I'm just emotional. A young girl in the Philippines uses music to connect with her grandmother as her memory fades. Another intergenerational story tugging on your heartstrings. Lola (grandmother) always says: "If you want to hold on, you gotta sing your songs." When Lola starts slipping into silence and stillness, her granddaughter helps Lola hold on, piece by piece, with the joy and music that Lola taught her. An incredibly moving picture book. A mama-picked must-read.

Night Market Rescue

Our family loves a feel-good doggie story. This one is perfect. While resting on a stoop, Gogo smells something sweet and spicy on the breeze. It leads him to a place he's never been--a bustling night market where vendors sell delicious treats. As he wanders, sniffing for scraps, GoGo discovers something else: a little girl who has been separated from her parents. He knows he can help and guides her through the market straight to where her worried parents wait for her--with open arms for their daughter and GoGo, their new pet!

Love in the Library

This book is extremely powerful. Even more-so after reading this. Set in an incarceration camp where the United States cruelly detained Japanese Americans during WWII and based on true events, this moving love story finds hope in heartbreak. "To fall in love is already a gift. But to fall in love in a place like Minidoka, a place built to make people feel like they weren't human--that was miraculous." The end of the book features a photo of the real Tama and George--the author's grandparents--along with an afterword and other back matter for readers to learn more about a time in our history that continues to resonate. Where racism is still ever-present in our country. This one is a must-read. A book that should be in every library and school. Which is exactly the type of book that many are trying to ban.

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night

I devoured this young adult fantasy book. I waited almost a month for it to come in from a neighboring library after ordering and it did not disappoint. I'm waiting *impatiently* for the next book. In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation's past--and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China. I don't want to give too much away. Sometimes I feel it is better to go into a book without knowing anything & I think that's the case with this one. If you like YA, fantasy, magic, adventure & action: this book is for you.


This concludes our week of AANHPI Heritage Month shares. But don't worry, we believe in sharing diverse voices and stories throughout the year. We have even have a few AANHPI books coming in the next few months as our MOSS Kids Book Club picks! Learn more about our nationwide book club here. It is so important to diversify your bookshelves, for your kids & for yourself. Check out our book blogs here & our book lists on our socials for more recommendations.


did you know we have a Patreon?

We started a Patreon to help fund all the fun we are having creating/stocking Little Free Libraries, our Kid's Book Club, donating to underserved schools, daycares, & throughout our communities. If you're able, we would appreciate any and all support. There are some pretty cool tiers with lots of fun goodies. Click the photo to learn more.


what we've been up to this past week:

We FILLED THE FLAG!! With your incredible donations, we were able to purchase 118 books for our local pride event next month. We took a "field trip" to a bookstore for an author story time. We headed to Wake Forest, NC to Page 158 Books to listen to Patricia Tanumihardja read her book Ramen for Everyone. It was such a treat to meet her & Sue of Page 158 Books. Page 158 Books is soon to be expanding into the space right next door. Be sure to check them out here.

We have a few upcoming events in June:

June 3rd -- We will have a table set up at the Wilson Pride NC event. We will be handing out over 100 LGBTQ+ children's books (board books, picture books, middle grade books & young adult books), thanks to your generous donations. We will also be selling MOSS Mystery bundles as a way to continue funding the refurbishment of little free libraries, the nationwide book club and donations to local schools, pediatric offices & daycares.

June 17th -- We will have a table at the Wilson County Public Library summer reading kick-off event. We will have free books to take from our traveling Little Free Library, coloring pages from our favorite illustrators & a craft. Start your summer off right with a little reading!

June 26th -- We head back to the Wilson County Public Library with our June MOSS Kids Book Club pick for an afternoon story time, craft & coloring activity sheets to take home.

stay tuned this week:

More book lists: Jewish American Heritage, LGBTQ+

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May 31, 2023

So cool!!! I love Love in the Library!!! Great book choices all around, and you guys are doing great! Happy that you filled the flag and have so many books to give out at Wilson Pride!! 🌈

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