13 Books for Kids That Celebrate
Asian Cultures

by Laura Lambert

Even though I grew up eating kimchi and saying ko-map-sup-ni-da, the only “Asian” book I read as a child was Tikki Tikki Tembo. It was a favorite of mine, but looking back, I’m not sure that I learned much about Asian cultures. People even argue whether the folktale is Chinese or Japanese.

My two kids also love the breathless tongue twister of Tikki’s full name. But I’m happy to report that thirty-some years later, there are some truly great books about the various Asian cultures — almost all with a focus on family and food. (But mostly food.)

So, clearly, this list doesn’t quite cover all things Asian. There are countries we didn’t cover — and cuisines!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2024.