Asian Book Reviews -- Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway

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Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway. More details about all of this below including the giveaway!!

Since May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, I contacted my friends at Tuttle Publishing. It was a logical choice since this is their specialty. They publish books on Asian cultures, languages, and history. They have books for children and adults. It is a wonderful publishing company that puts out high quality and beautiful books. They also have provided five of the books for the giveaway below! The first book we will review is one of the prizes.

Fun with Asian Food: A Kids' Cookbook by Devagi Sanmaugam and illustrated by Marijke den Ouden provides one of our favorite ways to explore cultures--through food! This cookbook has recipes from all over Asia including main dishes, desserts, beverages and more. Hazel and I went through it and marked many recipes as ones to try and then she chose the first two that we had to make. We made them for dinner one night. 

We made Longevity Birthday Noodles and Singapore Chicken Rice Meatballs. Both recipes were easy to follow and had ingredients that we mostly already had in our house. Each recipe has the list of ingredients and then the method section is illustrated with words underneath each picture.

The Longevity Birthday Noodles have snow peas and spinach as vegetables with a few green onions as a garnish. The sauce is made with peanut butter and is sweet. Hazel and I liked the noodles. Steve did not, but of course as soon as he heard the sauce was a peanut butter sauce he closed his mind to liking it. 

The Singapore Chicken Rice Meatballs were the thing Hazel was most excited to make and she was the one who liked them the best. Again Steve did not give them much of a chance. I thought they were all right, but I was not in love with them. I think I may have liked them more with a different meat than ground chicken. Hazel was so excited to roll the meatballs in the rice. It was the first time I steamed meatballs, so it was a new experience for us all. I found I liked them better with a little soy sauce on top of them. I guess I shouldn't have left out the salt in this recipe (I usually do in any recipe though). 

Overall we love the cookbook and the variety of recipes. The recipes are definitely easy for kids to try and follow once they are reading a bit better than Hazel is. How it was she knew the next step from the pictures. Definitely a fun book! Make sure to enter to win your own copy below!!

Tari: The Little Balinese Dancer by Pamela Noensie and illustrated by Garretta Lamore is a wonderful book to learn about the Balinese culture.  The book starts by sharing the legend of how the island of Bali was formed. A giant turtle came to rest in the warm turquoise sea and his back became a great mountain. The story itself is about a young girl named Tari. The story shows a typical day for Tari from waking up and seeing her family to going to school and then to dance class. It describes the typical Balinese house and the relationship of extended family. It also goes into the details of the rice fields Tari and her friend walk by to get to school. In the story Tari loses her grandmother and the book goes into the details of the Balinese traditions around death. Tari also dances in a festival. This story is full of so much information on Bali and yet it tells a wonderful story as well. It is a great book and the perfect way for us to learn even more about Bali than we have already explored. (Hello, Bali! and All About Indonesia)

My First Book of Chinese Calligraphy by He Zhihong and Guillaume Olive provides much information about the Chinese language and their calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy is written with a brush. This distinguishes it from Chinese writing. This book goes into the history of Chinese Calligraphy as well as the variations of it. Next it goes into details about making the various characters. They are not letters, but characters. Chinese writing has around 10,000 characters. To read the newspaper you need to know 3,000. It makes our 26 letters seem like a breeze. 
  Hazel and I tried some of the characters. Since we did not really have the correct tools, it was more for fun and we did it on scrap paper. Hazel then started making up her own characters. I labled some of them in the picture. I couldn't remember all of them.
 Throughout the book there are games and places to practice what is being taught.
 The book also comes with a CD-ROM. The CD has games, pronunciation, artists doing the calligraphy and more on it. This book gives a wonderful experience with the Chinese language and Chinese calligraphy. Previously we tried Chinese calligraphy when we reviewed All About China and we also experimented with Japanese calligraphy

Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale by Soma Han and John C. Stickler is the retelling of a tale Soma Han heard as a child from her mother and her mother heard it as a child from her mother in Korea. It is a wonderful tale that shares some about the Korean culture as well as a story that teaches how selflessness is rewarded. Maya is a young girl when her dying mother tells her about her temong dream that Maya would have a long life and become a princess. A temong dream is a special dream that a woman can have while pregnant that foretells something about the child's future. After her mother's death Maya and her father were very sad. Maya brings home a turtle one day that she found at her favorite rock. She shares her small amount of food with the turtle. Then her father becomes ill and they do not have the money to buy him the necessary medicine. She goes to the village on nearby and offers to be the sacrificial maiden for the monstrous centipede that comes every year to the village if they will give her the money necessary for her father's medicine and life. They are happy to have someone volunteer and it is done. Her father becomes healthy and she leaves after kissing her father and the turtle goodbye. The turtle ends up saving her life and killing the centipede. The emperor of heaven and earth invites Maya and her father to come live in a house in the clouds he has prepared for them. He also insists that Maya meet his son the prince. The prince and Maya fall in love and get married. Thus her mother's dream comes true. 

 The pictures in this book are beautiful and there are side notes throughout the book about the Korean culture. Things like Koreans and other Asians believed their emperor was divine. Or on the other side of the picture above there are two dancers wearing masks for the Mask Dance. This story tells the Korean legend with even more details about the culture and country. It is a nice reminder of our explorations of Korea (Exploring Korea from Home, Korean Folk Songs, Kongi and Potgi: A Korean Cinderella, Around the World in 12 Dishes: Korean Chap ch'ae, Korean Language Product Reviews, The Korean Cinderella, Asian Kites, and Cora Cooks Pancit).   It is a wonderful book as well. We really are enjoying it!

Now it is time for the giveaway!! If you missed my review of many of the prizes, be sure to check it out! Good luck!!

  Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs 
Multicultural Kid Blogs is excited to announce our second annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway! See our main page for a full schedule, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway below! The giveaway starts Monday, May 4 and goes through Monday, June 1. Enter for a chance to win one of these amazing prizes! Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series & Giveaway 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs 
The Grand Prize Package includes:
Personal Tea Ceremony Gift Set from Gift a Feast Includes everything you need to prepare and enjoy matcha, the tea served in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Enjoy being part of the journey of matcha tea from the temples of 12th century Buddhist monks to today! US shipping only
Calin Yang Doll from Pattycake Doll Company For the parents of Multicultural, Biracial, Black or Asian children, finding that perfect doll used to be a challenge. But today all that has changed. Pattycake Doll Company is the recognized source for Black, Asian, Hispanic, Biracial, and Multicultural Dolls as well as Dolls for Boys, and donate 10% of profits to children's charities. This month's contest winner will receive the most popular Asian Baby Doll in the world - Calin Yang by Corolle.
Asian Kites from Tuttle Publishing Kids will learn how to make colorful kites while exploring Asian culture and history with this easy-to-follow crafts for kids book.
All About Japan from Tuttle Publishing 2012 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award Winner! A cultural adventure for kids, All About Japan offers a journey to a new place—and ways to bring it to life! Dive into stories, play some games from Japan, learn some Japanese songs.
Hello, Bali from Kids Yoga Stories Say good day to the magical island of Bali through these energizing yoga poses for kids. Join one of the Yoga Kids, Anamika, as you surf like a surfer, dance like a Balinese dancer, and sit like a monkey. Included is a list of Kids Yoga Poses, Basic Indonesian phrases, and a Parent-Teacher Guide with tips on creating a successful yoga experience.

1st Prize Package

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series & Giveaway 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs
The 1st Prize Package includes:
Udon Noodle Bowls from Uncommon Goods Whether you're hosting a dinner party or lounging on the couch, this creation is ideal for udon, soup or stir-fry. A blend of a mug and a bowl, the handmade piece is contoured to fit snugly in the palm of your hand. Black lacquer bamboo chopsticks included. US Shipping only
Japanese House Architectural Blocks Set from HABA One of the oldest cultures in the world also has one of the most beautiful forms of architecture. Complicated multi-tier roofs and ornate pagodas allow the builder to create temples, palaces or calming formal gardens. With this set your child can take their imagination on a trip to Japan in the safety of their own living room. US/Canada Shipping Only
All About Indonesia from Tuttle Publishing A book for children that takes them on an adventure through one of the world's largest and most culturally diverse countries. Along the way, kids are introduced to Indonesian culture and history, the food, the language, and the natural beauty of this fascinating country!
Fun with Asian Food from Tuttle Publishing This Asian cookbook for kids contains fun and easy recipes that children will love to cook and dishes that even the pickiest eaters will savor!
Indian Children's Favorite Stories from Tuttle Publishing This colorfully illustrated multicultural children's book presents Indian fairy tales and other folk stories—providing insight into a rich literary culture.

2nd Prize Package

second prize Collage
The 2nd Prize Package includes:
Sushi Slicing Play Set from Melissa & Doug This elegant 24-piece wooden sushi play-food set is packed in a beautiful storage box and includes sliceable sushi rolls, shrimp, tuna, easy-use chopsticks, a cleaver and more. Sushi rolls make realistic chopping sounds when sliced! US/Canada Shipping Only
Countryside from Kevin So An album filled with "heartfelt great songs, great singing and great playing...simply something you'll love if you're a fan of originality, melody, surprising lyrics and beautiful instrumentation, beautifully played." Learn more about this artist and listen to samples of his work here.
Book from the Maui New Zealand series from Global Kids Oz Enjoy a book of from this collection of New Zealand Maori Myths and Legends that every New Zealand child is brought up with in school!
Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella from Lee & Low In the first English retelling of this ancient Cambodian tale, our heroine goes further, survives more, and has to conquer her own mortality to regain her rightful place. Angkat—child of ashes—endures great wrongs as she seeks to rise above the distresses caused by her own family. US Shipping only
Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments from Lee & Low Including both flights of fancy and practical considerations, lively poems capture each child’s musical experience with a different Chinese instrument, while sidebars provide more information about each one. US Shipping only
Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story from Lee & Low The incredible true story of the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal. Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award. US Shipping only
Juna's Jar from Lee & Low When her best friend moves away, Juna sets out to search for him with the help of a special jar. What Juna finds is that adventure—and new friends—can be found in the most unexpected places. US Shipping only
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow from Lee & Low A powerful story of hope, recounting the little known tale of the art schools that offered moments of solace and self-expression to Japanese Americans in the US internment camps of World War II. US Shipping only

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