Inside you’ll find: Picture books about Asia for grade schoolers. Countries included are China, Japan, Korea and Thailand and even Tibet.
Every homeschool semester, I get all giddy as I pick an area of the world that the boys and I will focus our picture book habit on. (It’s an addiction really. I had 96 books checked out from a single library once. And I have four town library cards!)
I wanted to share our top picks from our study on Asia. This books are plot driven, capturing imaginations without kids ever realizing their learning. Perfect way to get accustomed to a new culture.
Note: I focused mostly on oriental cultures. I decide to leave Russia for our study of Europe and most of southern Asia for our Pacific studies. I think India may get it’s own unit!
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Hush! a Thai Lullaby by Ho, Minfong Every mother will relate to this one! Join a mom as she desperately tries to ge.t her toddler to sleep but the jungle animals keep interrupting. Don’t miss this Caldecott Honor book!
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say A gorgeous true tale about the author’s grandfather. I love how it portrays a love of both his old country and his new country.
Kamishibai Man by Allen Say Join an elderly man as he reminisces about the good old days when kids gathered to hear him tell tales. Then be delighted when he decides he has more stories in him!
Tanuki’s Gift: a Japanese Tale by Tim Myers A furry tanuki and a priest become unlikely friends.
The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack A classic book that every child should have the pleasure of reading! When a duck who lives on the Yangtze River gets separated from his family, chaos ensues.
All the way to Lhasa: a Tale from Tibet by Barbara Berger A sweet tale about a boy and his yak plodding along while a reckless boy races ahead through the mountains. Beautifully illustrated.
Urashima Taro and other Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories by Florence Sakade We’ve really been getting into folk tales around here. I have learned so much about what a culture values by their folktales and this is a fine collection!
The Pet Dragon: a Story about Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters by Christoph Niemann Ok, this one wins top marks for creativity! As you follow the plot of a girl and her misadventures with a dragon, you’ll learn to read a couple words in Chinese as the characters are placed into the illustrations and the strokes fit the context perfectly. Hard to explain but my 3 year old had no trouble remembering over 15 written Chinese words. I was impressed!
The Empty Pot by Demi An appealing story about a little boy who remains honest under pressure and receives a great reward.
The Firekeeper’s Son by Linda Sue Park An exciting tale of a Korean boy who has to light a signal fire when his father cannot, to save their nation. Perfect illustrations.
Two of Everything: a Chinese Folktale by Lily Toy Hong A hilarious folktale about a pot that doubles whatever happens to go into it. Kids will love it!
Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges A lovely true tale about a young Chinese girl who wanted more than to be spoiled. She wanted to get an education.
The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel More like the clever little woman! A humorous tale that won a Caldecott Medal, so it’s definitely not to be missed!
Bee-bim Bop by Linda Sue Park See what life is like when Korean family prepares dinner. So relatable!
The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen A fantastic tale of an imprisoned emperor and his brave and often forgotten youngest daughter. The illustrations are so intricate and captivating!
Be sure to check out (pun intended) our other lists like picture books for kids about the Middle East!