11 books by Asian Authors and Illustrators for Father's Day Bonding
Father's Day is a special occasion to honor and celebrate the love and bond between fathers and their children. As we commemorate this joyous day, what better way to connect with our little ones than through the magic of storytelling?
In this post, I present a curated collection of 11 children's books written and/or illustrated by talented Asian authors and illustrators. These stories beautifully depict protagonists of Asian descent and explore the unique experiences shared between fathers and their children.
Whether you're a father yourself or searching for a meaningful gift for a special father in your life, these books are sure to touch your heart and remind you of the unbreakable bond between a father and child.
Jump to Book:
A Different Pond
Author: Bao Phi
Illustrator: Thi Bui
"A Different Pond" is a Caldecott Honor (among other awards) winning picture book that follows a young boy and his father on an early morning fishing trip. The story highlights the challenges faced by the boy's Vietnamese immigrant parents, who work hard to provide for their family. The fishing trip is not just a recreational activity, but a means to put food on the table. During the trip, the father shares memories of fishing with his brother in Vietnam before he lost him in the war, prompting the boy to ponder about his father's past and that different pond on the other side of the world.
A New Year's Reunion
Author: Yu Li-Qiong
Illustrator: Zhu Cheng-Liang
A New Year’s Reunion is about a migrant worker in China and his family, told from the perspective of the daughter, Maomao. Maomao’s Papa only comes home from his construction job once a year, for Lunar New Year. Maomao takes a bit to warm up to her Papa who has been away for so long, but soon they are having fun eating sticky rice balls, visiting friends, and watching the dragon dance. Maomao finds a lucky coin in her sticky rice balls, but decides to give it to Papa as he gets ready to leave again after several days of celebrations and family time. It’s a touching story that reflects the reality of many migrant workers.
Author / Illustrator: Katie Yamasaki (@katieyamasaki)
"Dad Bakes" is a captivating children's picture book that delivers a powerful message with minimal words, allowing muralist Katie Yamasaki's intricate illustrations to shine. The story revolves around a father who rises early to work at the Rise Up Bakery alongside other former inmates, crafting various breads. After returning home at sunrise, he spends the day baking and sharing precious moments with his daughter. The book's beautiful artwork and minimalistic narrative skillfully convey the father's dedication and the importance of familial bonds. The author's note further enriches the reading experience, shedding light on the book's inspiration and raising awareness about the vital role of organizations supporting individuals and families after prison. "Dad Bakes" is a remarkable picture book that seamlessly blends visual artistry with a profound message, making it a valuable addition to any children's library.
Author: Angela Pham Krans (@angela.pham.krans)
Illustrator: Thi Bui
Little Mai and her Papa love to play the crocodile chomp, chomp game together, but one day Papa leaves and doesn't come back. Mama explains that he is looking for a new home for them, and they exchange letters while he is away. One night, Mama says it is time to find Papa, so Mai and Mama leave everything they know behind - their pet chicken, Mai's favorite mango tree, and their home - to embark on a dangerous journey to reunite with him. They travel by land and sea, facing numerous hardships along the way. After a stay at a refugee camp, they travel to America where they meet an unfamiliar man. At least he seems unfamiliar until he kneels and says, “Chomp! Chomp!” It turns out to be Papa, and they are joyfully reunited at last.
Great Job, Dad
Author / Illustrator: Holman Wang (@holmanwang)
"Great Job, Dad" is a heartwarming children's picture book that beautifully celebrates the multifaceted role of fathers in their children's lives. From the moment dad returns home from his 9-to-5 job, he effortlessly transitions into various roles as a parent. Whether he's serving up delectable meals as a waiter or donning the hat of a chauffeur, transporting his children from one place to another, dad embraces each responsibility with love and dedication. The book masterfully showcases the wide range of tasks that dads undertake, from the seemingly mundane diaper inspector to the captivating storyteller who reads bedtime books.
I Am A Bird
Author: Hope Lim (@hopelim_sf)
Illustrator: Hyewon Yum (@yumhyewon)
Each day, a young girl embarks on a bike ride with her father, reveling in her love for birds by mimicking their calls. However, her enthusiasm wanes when they encounter a mysterious woman with a bag that sparks her unease. Yet, one day, when they're in a rush, the girl learns the surprising truth about the woman's bag, leading her to embrace a newfound connection and celebrating their shared bond. Through Hope Lim's heartfelt storytelling and Hyewon Yum's expressive illustrations, this touching tale reminds readers of the importance of recognizing our similarities instead of fixating on our differences.
I Love You More
Author: Serena Y. Li (@duckduckbooks)
Illustrator: Sabrina Deigert (@sasabrinaart)
"I Love You More" offers five different versions to choose from, including Bilingual Simplified Chinese, Bilingual Traditional Chinese, Bilingual Cantonese, Bilingual Spanish, and English-only editions. The Chinese versions showcase a father and daughter, while the Spanish and English versions depict a mother and son, emphasizing the universal theme of unconditional love between a parent and child. Through heartfelt spreads inspired by the five love languages, such as words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch, this book is beautifully complemented by intricate papercut illustrations.
Juna and Appa
Author: Jane Park (@janeparkbooks)
Illustrator: Felicia Hoshino (@felishino_illustration)
"Juna and Appa" is a heartfelt children's picture book that pays tribute to fathers and the diverse families working tirelessly behind shop counters. Juna finds joy in assisting her father at their dry cleaner shop, earning herself the endearing title of "little helper" from Appa. However, when an irate customer accuses them of misplacing an expensive jacket, Appa becomes consumed by the search for the missing item. Juna feels pushed away and embarks on an adventure in her imagination. Along the way, she encounters three fascinating animal dads, each representing a facet of her own relationship with her father. Appa and Juna make amends and despite the jacket remaining unfound, Appa reassures Juna that everything will be alright.
Author: Michelle Sterling (@averyandaugustine)
Illustrator: Sarah Gonzales (@sgonzalesart)
As Maribel and her mother spend a year in America while awaiting her father's arrival from the Philippines, they navigate the challenges of a new country, school, and friendships. Despite the distance of 8,000 miles, Maribel cherishes her father's presence through memories of their shared moments, letters, and packages, finding solace in the enduring connection that transcends oceans. As the seasons change, Maribel's longing intensifies, and readers are left wondering if she can hold on a little bit longer for their reunion.
Peek: A Thai Hide and Seek
Author: Minfong Ho
Illustrator: Holly Meade
"Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek" is a delightful book that takes readers on a playful father-daughter game of hide-and-seek. Written in engaging rhyme, the book follows the father as he searches their home and the surrounding area, encountering a delightful array of animals including a rooster, elephant, and tiger along the way. With each turn of the page, young readers will eagerly search for the little girl, joining in the fun and anticipation.
Ramen for Everyone
Author: Patricia Tanumihardja (@ediblewords)
Illustrator: Shiho Pate (@shihopate)
Hiro is determined to replicate his dad's delicious ramen. Inspired by his father's Sunday dinners, Hiro sets out to create his own perfect bowl, but encounters unexpected challenges along the way. Despite initial setbacks, Hiro learns the valuable lesson that every person's version of a perfect bowl of ramen is unique, ultimately discovering his own creativity and finding confidence as a budding ramen chef.
Do you know a fantastic book that would make a great addition to this list? I'd love to hear your recommendations! Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thank you for helping make this list even better!