Asia is the largest continent so imagine the huge variety of experiences, cultures, languages and stories that range from Kazakhstan, Iran, Guam Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Japan, Oman, North and South Korea, Borneo and so many, many more countries. This month’s contributors have shared children’s literature written by both Asian Americans and Asians that has been published in the US. I did notice that we were getting more books from east Asia (as seems to be the case with children’s publishing in general) and I asked contributors to consider books from south or west Asia. Still, so many areas have not been represented. The books are out there, sometimes it takes a little more work to find them. I hope the wonderful books and authors mentioned here this month lead you on a path to even more books.
We’ve not had much diversity in genre, either. Today is the first day we’re going to have poetry. This post is really special to me. I reached out to my oldest son, Rodney. He, too is involved in antiracist work and I knew he’d be a good addition to this series. Rodney decided to enlisted the help of my youngest grandgirl while reading us a little from Rumi and Bruce Lee. His reflection on Bruce Lee reminds me how we often treat these heritage months: we get stuck on the easy, surface level stuff. Don’t be afraid to go deep, to build connections and find meaning. Be anti-racist!
“All Rivers at Once” found in The Essential Rumi (HarperOne, 2004)
“The Medicine for My Suffering” poem by Bruce Lee