Tiger Tales: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

If you don't know about the fantastic resource called PaperTigers.org, head over there right now to peruse book lists, reviews, and interviews related to children's books from and about the Pacific Rim and South Asia. With their permission, I post the most recent issue of their e-newsletter, Tiger Tales, here:
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and a great time to celebrate the rich history of Asian Americans and their contributions to strengthening the fabric of this country. Asian Pacific Americans are not a single group. They are made up of more than 24 ethnic groups that speak different languages, each with its own historical roots and branches. Their ethnic or multi-ethnic identities have a long, and not always acknowledged, history. Reading the books we highlight here and spreading the word about them and about APAH month, is one way to acknowledge and celebrate their importance. By introducing young minds to the complex questions of racial and ethnic identities, we help them find out the reality that lies beyond skin color and accents...

{Book of the Month}
This month, we highlight Landed, by Milly Lee, a very important book that helps counter the dearth of immigration stories from across the Pacific. It tells the story of her father-in-law, Sun’s journey from China to America to join his father and brothers, and how he is detained for weeks at San Francisco's Angel Island Immigration Station until he is called for interrogation and granted entry. Although not a 'paper son' (a term used to describe those falsely claiming blood ties for purposes of immigration), everything still depends on him getting his answers right, and failing to do so means deportation.

Author Uma Krishnaswami talks to PaperTigers about her new book Closet Ghosts (CBP, 2006), the importance of heritage, windows, and "filing cabinets."

{Personal Views}
In celebration of APA Heritage Month, we offer two personal views for thought, one focusing on picture books, the other on books for older readers:

My Favorite Asian Pacific American Picture Books by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, a sample of some of her favorite reads, dealing with a range of issues faced by Asian American children.

Asian American Literature for Children and Teens: Where We Fit In by children's book author and poet Janet Wong, on how Asian Americans are more than the sum of their mixed-heritage. This reading list packs a punch.

In the illustrator's gallery, the delightful world of Belle Yang: bright and expressively painted, her illustrations leap at you with a life much larger than the few inches they fill on the screen.

{Essential Reading}
The American Experience: Strength from Diversity is a great (and timely!) reading list – including many Asian American titles–put together by ALA's Association for Library Services to Children's International Committee.

The Asian American Curriculum Project is an award-winning non-profit voluntary educational organization that offers a vast collection of Asian American books and educational resources to schools, libraries and the general public.

Growing Up Asian in America Art and Essay Contest, an annual art and essay competition for K-12th grade students in the San Francisco Bay Area is a meaningful celebration of Asian and Pacific-Island Heritage. "On My Street & In My Neighborhood," this year's theme, gives youth a chance to illustrate and voice their points of view

{Book Reviews}
Check out the new book reviews, including, from Resource Links, Canada, Bamboo by Paul Yee (Tradewind Books, 2006), and from CCBC, US, Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet, by Kashmira Sheth (Hyperion, 2006).

There's a world of Asian and Pacific-Island cultures and voices out there! So read, learn, and join in the celebration!