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  • Writer's pictureRebekah Qu

Asian-Owned Small Businesses and Independent Children's Book Authors

Updated: Apr 16, 2023


As an advocate for diversity and representation in children's literature, I created @AsianStoriesLibrary on Instagram to amplify the voices of Asian authors and illustrators. Within this community, many of my favorite creators are small businesses and independent authors. Growing up as the daughter of small business owners, I have a special appreciation and admiration for those who take on the challenge of entrepreneurship. That's why I have made it my mission to populate my daughter's home library with books from Kickstarter campaigns and mom-authors. And now, I am excited to share my top picks with you!


According to data compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, in 2019, just 8.7% of children’s books featured Asians as primary characters. Furthermore, the Lee and Low Diversity Baseline Survey in 2019 found that only 7% of the publishing industry overall in North America is composed of people of Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander/South Asian/South East Indian descent.


However, independent authors of Asian descent and Asian-owned small businesses are working to increase both those numbers. Many of the authors and businesses on this list are moms who created books that reflected their families because they couldn't find them elsewhere.


My list includes 52 Asian authors and Asian-owned small businesses that have collectively published over 180 children's books. What's more, 75% of those on this list published their first book within the past three years (2020 or later), showcasing the growing momentum of diverse voices in children's literature.


If you want to support bringing more books like the ones below to life, I highly recommend creating a Kickstarter account. A large proportion of the books on this list were published through Kickstarter campaigns! The first two Kickstarter campaigns I ever backed were for Habbi Habbi's bilingual books and reading wand and Little Sen's Chinese Holidays bilingual book from Shiny Lantern, both in 2019 (and both on this list). Since then, through Instagram and Kickstarter, I've discovered an amazing book community and the awesome businesses and authors listed below.



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Ariel Chang

Ariel Chang noticed a lack of Asian representation in the children's books at her daughter's school. To address that deficit, she published her first children's book, "Night Market", through a Kickstarter campaign.

Instagram: @arielchang888

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1


Night Market (2021)

Night Market by Ariel Chang book cover

Baby Snack Time / Judy Li

Judy Li is a writer and designer. She's has written two children's books (so far) to help fill the market gap for English-Chinese bilingual books. Her books celebrate Asian culture, featuring nostalgic snacks and tea.

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Traditional with Zhuyin and Simplified with Pinyin), Japanese

Books published: 2

​Baby Snack Time (2021)

Baby Snack Time book cover

My Review Purchase Here

​Baby Tea Time (2022)

Baby Tea Time book cover

My Review Purchase Here


Bao Bao Learns Chinese / Peipei Zhou

Peipei Zhou is the creator and voice behind Bao Bao Learns Chinese, a series of bilingual music board books. The inspiration behind the books is her son, who she is teaching Mandarin. So far, she has released three volumes of nursery rhymes and children's songs.

Type of book: Board, sound, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 3

​Bao Bao Learns Chinese Vol 1 (2019)

Bao Bao Learns Chinese Vol 1 book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

Bao Bao Learns Chinese Vol 2 (2020)

Bao Bao Learns Chinese Vol 2 book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

Bao Bao Learns Chinese Vol 3 (2022)

Bao Bao Learns Chinese Vol 3 book cover

Purchase Here


Bao Box / Si-Chi Hefel

Si-Chi Hefel is the daughter of educators and mother of a biracial daughter. She launched Bao Box with the idea of helping her daughter appreciate her cultural heritage through an immersive environment. The first box contains an activity/story book, and an abacus and stamps with assembly instructions. The vision is to eventually turn Bao Box into a subscription service so children can learn Chinese language and culture one box at a time!

Instagram: @realbaobox

Shop on Amazon (book only)

Type of book: Activity book, cultural box (Chinese language and culture activities)

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Traditional with Pinyin)

Books published: 1


Perfect Ten Box (activity book, abacus, and stamps)

Bao Box contents

Purchase Here (full box)


Beach Day Press / Amy

Amy is the mama and pediatric speech language pathologist behind Beach Day Press. She is working on a set of three bilingual (English, Chinese, Pinyin) board books that will help build language and play skills. The books are expected to be available for purchase in Spring 2023.

Instagram: @beach.day.press

Website: Coming in 2023!

Type of book: Bilingual, board

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Pinyin)

Books published: 3 coming in Spring 2023!



Bilingual Kiddos / Yvonne Tee

Yvonne Tee is a multilingual mother who was having trouble finding simple Chinese books (with Pinyin) to read with her kids. Through a successful Kickstarter campaign, she created her first bilingual book in 2020. A second Kickstarter campaign funded another book in 2021.

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 2

​My Bilingual Book of Nursery Rhymes (2020)

My Bilingual Book of Nursery Rhymes book cover

My Review Purchase Here

My Bilingual Book of Festivals (2021)

My Bilingual Book of Festivals book cover

My Review

Purchase Here


Bitty Bao / Lulu Cheng and Lacey Bernard

Lulu Cheng and Lacey Bernard became friends through their job as teachers. Years later, after they'd both gotten married and had kids, they decided to create a bilingual board book series to share Chinese language and culture with their bitty babes. Bitty Bao books often have several layers of educational material. For example, "Dragon Boat Festival" teaches Chinese language, provides cultural information about the Dragon Boat Festival, and teaches shapes! In addition to books, Bitty Bao offers high-quality toys that are related to their books, such as a hot pot set, mooncake set, and a Lunar New Year meal set .

Instagram: @bitty.bao

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Traditional with Zhuyin and Simplified with Pinyin), some books available in Cantonese

Books published: 15

​Round 1 (2020): Counting with Dum Sim, The Colors of Snow Ice, Everyday Heroes

Bitty Bao Round 1 Books

My Review

Purchase Here

Round 2 (2021): Celebrating Chinese New Year, Lucky Lunar Animals, Dragon Boat Festival

Bitty Bao Round 2 Books

My Review

Purchase Here

Round 3 (2021): Boba Emotions, Foodie Detectives, It's Hot Pot Time!

Bitty Bao Round 3 Books

My Review

Purchase Here

Round 4 (2022): Mid-Autumn Festival, Mooncakes, Our Moon

Bitty Bao Round 4 Books

My Review

Purchase Here

Round 5 (2022): Night Market, Skewers, Next Stop Taipei

Bitty Bao Round 5 Skewers, Night Market, Next Stop Taipei

My Review

Purchase Here


Boba Bear Bilingual / Ran Wei

Ran Wei came up with the idea for the Boba Bear series to share her Chinese culture and language with her soon to be born daughter (and all children). Developing a book series while pregnant and then while taking care of a newborn is no easy feat! The Boba Bear series launched in October, 2022 with three books about a boba and book loving bilingual bear cub and her family!

Instagram: @bobabearbilingual

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 3

​1, 2, 3, NYC with Boba Bear (2022)

1, 2, 3, NYC with Boba Bear

Purchase Here

Boba Bear's Lunar New Year (2022)

Boba Bear's Lunar New Year

Purchase Here

Boba Bear's Outdoor Adventures (2022)

Boba Bear's Outdoor Adventures

Purchase Here


Bowie's Adventure Books / Lisa Chan

Lisa Chan wanted to introduce Chinese to her daughter, but couldn't find a lot of bilingual music books to meet that need. So, in the Fall of 2021, she created her own through a Kickstarter campaign. A second book and eventually, an entire series are currently being planned.

Type of book: Board, music, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 1


Bowie's School Trip Chinese Sing-Along (2022)

Bowie's School Trip book cover

The Bund Books / Carol Yu

When Carol Yu became a mom she wanted to read Chinese books to her son. However, her Chinese was a bit rusty and most Chinese books don't provide Pinyin. The Bund Books was created to provide Chinese storybooks that are accessible to non-native speakers by providing Pinyin and English translations alongside Chinese characters. The first series is called 小花园 (Little Garden) and currently has two books.

Instagram: @thebundbooks

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 2

​Little Tomato (2021)

Little Tomato book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

Little Pineapple (2022)

Little Pineapple book cover

My Review

Purchase Here


Cadamini Books / Katie Cadamatre

Cadamini Books was created to provide Korean books to families outside of Korea who may have varying levels of Korean proficiency (or none at all). The first book was funded through Kickstarter in 2021, and two additional books have been published since. All the books are written in Hangeul (Korean characters), Romanization (Roman/Latin characters), and English.

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Korean (Hangeul with Romanization)

Books published: 3


Let's Clean Up, Fun Numbers, Fun Opposites (2021)

Let's Clean Up, Fun Numbers, Fun Opposites books


Cathy Lu

Cathy Lu is a software developer and self-taught artist. She self-published her first book as a celebration of Chinese American culture through foods.

Instagram: @abcsforabcs

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1


ABCs for the American Born Chinese (2020)

ABCs for the American Born Chinese book cover

Cindy Tong

Cindy Tong is the mother of two boys, who she features in her mystery book series. She recognized that Asians are underrepresented in children's books, and the books they are featured in are often limited to Asian culture and holidays. Cindy Tong's books show Asian kids being adventurous and "the heroes in everyday stories".

Instagram: @bycindytong

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 2

​The Mystery of the Missing Dump Truck (2021)

The Mystery of the Missing Dump Truck

Purchase Here

​Curious Case at the Carnival (2022)

Curious Case as the Carnival

Purchase Here


Congee Club Kids / Marissa Merrill and Sara Menges

The Congee Club Kids team is Marissa, a mental health counselor and mother, and Sara, an artist, grant writer, and mental health enthusiast. Congee Club Kids is launching their first book, “How Are You Feeling Little Dumpling?” on Kickstarter on December 1, 2022! The book combines emotional awareness and celebration of Asian American culture.

Instagram: @congeeclubkids

Type of book: Board

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1 - Kickstarter goes live December 1, 2022!



Crystal Z. Lee

Crystal Z. Lee is a writer, mom, and former public relations executive. She's lived in both Asia (including Taipei and Shanghai) and the US. She's written a novel and two children's books. Her children's books combine Chinese and Taiwanese culture with adventurous and magical stories.

Instagram: @crystal.z.lee

Type of book: Picture, adult

Languages offered: English

Books published: 3

​Love and Other Moods (2020)

My Review

Purchase Here

​A Unicorn Named Rin (2021)

My Review

Purchase Here

​Kai the Dancing Butterfly (2022)

My Review

Purchase Here


Culture Tater Tots / Gwen Sung

Culture Tater Tots was born out of Gwen Sung's desire to pass her Taiwanese-Chinese culture on to her daughter. Culture Tater Tots creates boxes that include themed books, activities, crafts, and Culture Guide Cards. Below I've listed Gwen Sung's book, but the cultural boxes are available on a limited quantity basis and change over time, so please check the Culture Tater Tots website for the latest information.

Type of book: Board, cultural boxes (books, toys, activities)

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1


A Monster Named Nian (2020)

A Monster Named Nian book cover

Curious Little Bao / Helen Wu

Helen Wu had trouble finding bilingual books that taught social skills, manners, everyday experiences, so she created the Curious Little Bao series to fill this gap. She also noticed that most bilingual books featured either a girl or animal as the main character. As a boy-mom, she also wanted to create a book that her son could identify with. Her mission is to crate books that "Asian toddlers identify with, translations with romanization that enable all parents to read to their children in Chinese, and messages that provide simple, repeatable phrases, which enable children to commit them to memory."

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional with Pinyin)

Books published: 1


Curious Little Bao Likes to Help (2022)


Doubly Happy / Anna Wong

Anna Wong is a graphic designer who creates custom cards, bookmarks, invitations, logos and more. She created "Doubly Happy: ABCs for ABCs" for her 12 nieces and nephews to "celebrate and nurture pride in Chinese culture".

Instagram: @doublyhappy

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1


Doubly Happy: ABCs for ABCs (2022)

Doubly Happy ABCs for ABCs book cover

Duck Duck Books / Serena Y. Li

Serena Y. Li struggled to find bilingual books reflecting the cross-cultural values she wanted to teach her daughter. So, she founded Duck Duck Books and now leads a team of creators of color, "creating multilingual board books representing multicultural values, with themes around emotional intelligence and early social skills." Duck Duck Books also sells sustainable ego-goods, such as an adorable and high-quality children's backpack.

Instagram: @duckduckbooks

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Mandarin (Simplified and Traditional with Pinyin), Cantonese (with Jyutping), Spanish

Books published: 3

​I Am Me, All Puppies Are Good Puppies (2021)

I Am Me and All Puppies are Good Puppies book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

I Love You More (2022)

I Love You More book cover

My Review

Purchase Here


Edna Ma

Edna Ma is a anesthesiologist and mom who isn't a native speaker of Chinese, but wanted to read Chinese books to her kids. Inspired by her son's friendship with another child from his Mandarin immersion school, she wrote a bilingual book series featuring the boys. The books include English and Pinyin alongside Chinese characters to be accessible to readers with various Chinese skill levels.

Instagram: @ednamamd

Type of book: Picture, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 3


Travel, Learn, and See Series: Your Friends (2017), Shanghai (2018), Great Wall (2021)

Travel Learn and See Series book covers

Eeyagi Books / Frances "F.B." Smit

Frances Smit is a teacher who found herself in Korean language class as an adult (read more about this on her website). She discovered learning Korean was much easier and more interesting when done through stories and folktales. She has adapted two folktales into bilingual books so far with the goal of "connecting language, connecting culture, one story at a time."

Type of book: Picture, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Korean, Chinese (characters only)

Books published: 2

The Mysterious Stream (2018)

The Mysterious Stream Korean and English book cover

Purchase Here


E is for Egg Tart / Jessica Lam and Nevy Liang

Jessica Lam and Nevy Liang created the "E is for Egg Tart" book through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The goal of the book is to provide a more culturally inclusive vocabulary than the typical ABC book and to celebrate Asian heritage.

Instagram: @eisforeggtart

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1

E is for Egg Tart (2021)

E is for Egg Tart book cover


Eugenia Chu

Eugenia Chu is an attorney, author, and mom. She had trouble finding children's story books (compared to vocabulary-type books) that included Chinese language and culture. Her first series of three books (so far) is inspired by her son, Brandon and his adventures. She also has a great educational book about Chinese New Year.

Type of book: Picture, chapter

Languages offered: English

Books published: 4

​Brandon Makes Jiao Zi (2017)

Brandon Makes Jiao Zi book cover

Purchase Here

Brandon goes to Beijing (2019)

Brandon goes to Beijing book cover

Purchase Here

Brandon goes to Hong Kong (2021)

Brandon goes to Hong Kong

Purchase Here

Celebrating Chinese New Year (2021)

Celebrating Chinese New Year book cover

My Review

Purchase Here


Gemma's Library / Chau Nguyen Biu

Once Chau Nguyen Biu became a mom, she realized there weren't many bilingual Vietnamese books available in the US. She decided to create her own for her daughter and her cousins. Now, she has four books available to help other families grow their bilingual libraries!

Instagram: @gemmas.library

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Vietnamese

Books published: 4

​The Vietnamese Alphabet, The Colors of the Rainbow, Gemma's Farm Adventure (2021)

My Review

Purchase Here

​All About Feelings (2022)

All About Feelings book cover

Purchase Here

Gloo Books / Karen Chan

Karen Chan is a mom, entrepreneur, and attorney who wanted to diversify her son's bookshelf. She realized there weren't a lot of diverse books available, so she crated her own. But she didn't stop there. Understanding that the lack of diversity in children's books is an industry issue, she decided to create her own publishing company. Karen Chan founded Gloo Books with the mission of creating "books for a more inclusive, just and compassionate future".

Instagram: @gloobooks

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 2

​What's That? (2021)

Purchase Here

​A Very Asian Guide to Korean Food (2022)

Purchase Here


Gordon and Lili / Michele Wong McSween

Michele Wong McSween created the Gordon and Lili series to introduce her children to Chinese language and culture. At the time, there were very few books like this (over 90% of the books on this list hadn't been created yet!), so I believe Michele Wong McSween is one of the first independent creators of bilingual Chinese children's books in the US! She has since published six books and developed a Chinese language learning mobile app .

Instagram: @gordonandlili

Type of book: Board, bilingual, coloring and activity

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin and phonetic pronunciation)

Books published: 6

​Gordon & Li Li: Learn Animals in Mandarin (2010)

Gordon and Li Li Learn Animals in Mandarin book cover

Purchase Here

Gordon and Li Li Count in Mandarin (2010)

Gordon and Li Li Count in Mandarin

Purchase Here

​Gordon & Li Li: Words for Everyday (2013)

Gordon & Li Li Words for Everyday

Purchase Here

​My First Mandarin Words with Gordon and Li Li (2018)

My First Mandarin Words with Gordon and Li Li

Purchase Here

​Gordon & Li Li Celebrate Chinese New Year (2020)

Gordon and Li Li Celebrate Chinese New Year book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

​Gordon & Li Li: Learn Animals in Mandarin Coloring & Activity Book (2021)

Gordon and Li Li Learn Animals in Mandarin Coloring and Activity Book

Purchase Here


Habbi Habbi / Hanna and Anne-Louise

Hanna and Anne-Louise are two moms on bilingual journeys with their kids. They wanted to create a language-learning resource that was inexpensive, easy-to-use, non-screen-based, and accessible for non-native speakers. The result was Habbi Habbi, a company providing bilingual board books (English-Chinese and English-Spanish), accompanied by a reading wand to allow children to "read" the books themselves and hear native pronunciation. In 2019, Habbi Habbi launched a Kickstarter that was fully funded within four hours, raising over $58,000 from almost 500 backers by the end of the campaign. Now, Habbi Habbi has 24 books available in five languages (Chinese, Spanish, French, Korean, and Hindi). Besides books and reading wands Habbi Habbi also offers tappable flashcards and puzzles.

Instagram: @behabbi

Type of book: Board, bilingual, sound with tappable reading wand, flashcards, puzzles

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin), Korean, Spanish, French, Hindi

Books published: 24

Habbi Habbi (2019)

Habbi Habbi books

Heritage Press Co / Jennifer Hong and Sandra Lee

When Jennifer Hong became a mother, she wanted to expose her daughter to the Korean language, but found very few baby books in Korean. So, she and her best friend, Sandra Lee, a professional Korean translator started Heritage Press Co. Although they initially created the company to publish Korean-English books, they also plan to create books in other languages. A Tagalog book is coming soon!

Instagram: @heritagepressco

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Korean (Hangeul with Romanization), Tagalog (coming soon!)

Books published: 3

​My First 100 Korean Words (2021)

My First 100 Korean Words

Purchase Here

​My First Korean Numbers, Colors, an Shapes (2021)

My First Korean Numbers, Colors, and Shapes

Purchase Here

​My First Korean Alphabet (Hangul) (2021)

My First Korean Alphabet Hangul

Purchase Here



Immedium Books / Oliver Chin

Oliver Chin founded Immedium in 2004 to publish diverse stories. There are about two dozen authors who have published through Immedium since. Oliver Chin, himself, has published over 15 books, including the "Tales from the Chinese Zodiac" series, the "Julies Black Belt" series, and several standalone books. Together with Phil Amara, he co-authored the "Asian Hall of Fame" series and "Awesome Asian Americans", which has a part two coming November, 2022. Learn more about Immedium and Olive Chin through this interview he did with the Asian American History 101 podcast.

Instagram: @immediumbooks

Type of book: Picture, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified)

Books published: 25+

Julie Black Belt Series (2008-2013)

Julie Black Belt book series

Purchase Here

​Asian Hall of Fame Series (2017-2019)

Asian Hall of Fame book series

Purchase Here

​​Tales from the Chinese Zodiac Series (2010-2022)

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac book series

My Review for Year of the Tiger

Purchase Here

Awesome Asian Americans (2020)

Awesome Asian Americans book

My Review

Purchase Here

Jet's Books / Virginia Yang

Virginia Yang created Jet's Books to provide early language exposure to young children and to keep "Asian traditions and cultures alive with the next generation of Asian-Americans".

Instagram: @jetsbooks

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 1

Jet Celebrates the New Year (2019)


JKL Teahouse

Together, Nithin Jilla, Joanna Kong ,and Susan Hsia Lew are JKL Teahouse. "At JKL Teahouse, we are proud of our multiple Asian heritages, and we are proud to be Americans. Our mission is to inspire a broader definition of “American” by offering products that reflect Asian Americans and the impact of Asian communities on American life." Their first book, "R is for Rice", illustrated by Christine Diaz, is an ABC book of Asian American foods.

Instagram: @risforrice

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1

R is for Rice (2021)

R is for Rice

Kesia Eng

Kesia Eng has a special love for dim sum and was really sad to see dim sum restaurants closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. To capture the experience of dim sum along with its cultural elements, she created "Baby Bao at Dim Sum". Her hope is that "we can all appreciate dim sum as an avenue to love our families more, and continue to pass on the values embedded in it".

Instagram: @babybaoatdimsum

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1

Baby Bao at Dim Sum (2022)

Baby Bao at Dim Sum book cover

Learn Chinese with Tofu / Ling and Eric Lee

Ling and Eric Lee wanted their son to have early exposure to the Chinese language, but had a hard time finding bilingual children's books that included Pinyin. Learn Chinese with Tofu creates children's books with English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) and Pinyin.

Type of book: Picture, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional with Pinyin)

Books published: 2

​The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac (2020)

The Great Race book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

​My First 100 Words (2021)

My First 100 Words book cover

Purchase Here


Lele and Monkey / Tiffany Kwan

Though from California, Tiffany Kwan's family is currently living in Hong Kong. She wanted to teach her son Chinese, but found it difficult as a non-native speaker. Lele and Monkey was created to share their "Chinese learning journey with others but also showcase the beauty of living and growing up in HK".

Instagram: @leleandmonkey

Website: https://leleandmonkey.com/

Type of book: Picture, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Traditional with Pinyin), Cantonese (with Jyutping)

Books published: 2

​Lele Goes Out to Play (2021)

Lele Goes out to Play book and magnetic play book

My Review

Purchase Here

​Monkey's Great Adventure (2022)

Monkey's Great Adventure book cover

Purchase Here


Leslie Nguyen

Leslie Nguyen is the daughter of Vietnamese refugee-immigrants. She wrote "Two Refugees and a Dream" to preserve her parents' inspirational story as a picture book.

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1

Two Refugees and a Dream (2021)

Two Refugees and a Dream book cover

Life of Adaventure / Ada Jang

Ada Jang noticed her son gravitated to books with real pictures, especially ones of other children, but couldn't find many with storylines. She published "Making Dumplings with Alden" through Kickstarter to create a Montessori-friendly book with real photos and fun story.

Instagram: @lifeof.adaventure

Type of book: Board

Languages offered: English

Books published: 1

Making Dumplings with Alden (2021)

Making Dumplings with Alden book and dumpling set

Lil Dumpling Publications / Robin Lawrence and Tien Butts

Robin Lawrence wanted to expose her baby to Chinese early, but found limited options for those who need Pinyin to read Chinese. She created Lil Dumpling Publications with her cousin, Tien Butts, and published the several books through a successful Kickstarter campaign. "Hearing & Seeing Chinese" is a high contrast book for young babies, while the other two books combine Robin's interests in Montessori, Mandarin, and cooking.

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 3


Hearing & Seeing Chinese, I can make a fruit tart, I can make a salad (2021)

Hearing and Seeing Chinese, I can make a fruit tart, I can make a salad books

Little Bean's Toy Chest / Hai-Anh Vu

Little Bean's Toy Chest creates fabric play books (quiet books) that encourage development of fine motor skills, independence, and imagination. The books contain different activities and sensory experiences, such as buttons, zippers, velcro, flaps, pockets, and removable pieces. The books shown below are from the Celebrating Cultures set, but there are many other books, such as "My Holiday", What Will I Be?", and "Everyday Life". Some of the books offer customization, like adding a child's name or custom skin color and hair color/style for included dolls.

Type of book: Quiet, sensory


Quiet Books from the Celebrating Cultures and Places Collection

Little Bean's Toy Chest Quiet Books

Little Phoenix Press / Danni Pi and Sammy Yuen

Danni Pi had trouble finding baby books that bilingual (English-Chinese) with Pinyin and taught the kinds of lessons she wanted her child to learn. She approached Sammy Yuen to collaborate and together they created Little Phoenix Press! I did an interview with Danni and Sammy that you can read here to learn more about them, Little Phoenix Press, and their first book, “Where’s Tuotuo?”.

Type of book: Board, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified with Pinyin)

Books published: 1

Where's Tuotuo? (2022)

Where's Tuotuo

Little Picnic Press / Cheryl Yau Chepusova

Cheryl Yau Chepusova was disappointed in the lack of Asian representation in children's books. Where the was representation, it was often an overgeneralization of Asian culture. She wanted to create books that would celebrate the diverse cultures within Asia. In 2018, she founded Little Picnic Press as "an independent publisher dedicated to creating thoughtfully written and well designed books that promote cultural diversity, food, and travel".

Type of book: Board, picture, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Traditional)

Books published: 5

​Big Cities Little Foodies Series (2019-2021)

Big Cities Little Foodies boxed set: Taipei, Hong Kong, Toyko

Purchase Here

​Tastes of Lunar New Year (2020)

Tastes of Lunar New Year book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

​Noodles, Please! (2022)

Noodles, Please book cover and sticker pack

My Review

Purchase Here

Lulu Books / Jenny Lu

Jenny Lu's childhood dream was to be a children's book author. As a Kindergarten teacher, an Early Language and Literacy Coordinator, and a reading specialist, she wanted to foster an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in young readers, especially girls. In addition, she wanted to create books with characters from diverse backgrounds to teach equity and inclusion to children. The Emma Ren series combines all of this into fun, educational reads for children.

Instagram: @jenny.lulubooks

Type of book: Picture

Languages offered: English

Books published: 2

​Emma Ren: Robot Engineer (2021)

Emma Ren Robot Engineer book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

​Emma Ren: Junior Paleontologist (2022)

Emma Ren Junior Paleontologist

My Review

Purchase Here


Lychee Press / Katrina Liu

Katrina Liu writes Chinese-English bilingual storybooks for non-native Chinese speaking families who want to give their children early exposure to Chinese. Her mission is to increase Asian representation in children's books and inspire children to be proud of their cultural and heritage. Learn more about Katrina Liu in this interview with Chalk Academy (a great site for multilingual resources in Chinese and Korean). If you've been inspired by the authors on this list and want to self-publish your own children's book, check out Katrina's book coaching services.

Type of book: Picture, bilingual

Languages offered: English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional with Pinyin), some books available in Cantonese

Books published: 16

Mina's First Day of School (2018)

Mina's First Day of School book cover

My Review

Purchase Here

​I Found it! (2020)

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​Mina Goes to the Beach (2021)

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