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Indiana University


Exploring East Asia through Stories

Children’s Book List

Title Author Country Age/Grade
At the Beach Lee, Huy Voun China Ages 4-9
The Ballad of Mulan Zhang, Song Nan China Ages 6-10
Beautiful Warrior McCully, Emily Arnold China Ages 5-9
Bitter Dumplings Lee, Jeanne M. China  
Cat and Rat Young, Ed China Ages 4-8
Celebrating Chinese New Year Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane China Ages 4-8
China’s Bravest Girl Chin, Charlie China  
Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes Wyndham, Robert China Ages 4 & up
Count Your Way through China Haskins, Jim China Ages 4-8
D is for Doufu Krach, Maywan Shen China  
The Dragon Prince Yep, Laurence China Ages 8-12
The Emperor and the Kite Yolen, Jane China Ages 4-8
The Greatest Treasure Demi China  
Happy New Year! Demi China Ages 6 & up
I Once was a Monkey Lee, Jeanne M. China  
The Laziest Boy in the World Xuan Yong-sheng China Ages 4-8
Lon Po Po Young, Ed China Ages 6-10
Long is a Dragon Goldstein, Peggy China All ages
The Lost Horse Young, Ed China  
The Making of Monkey King Kraus, Robert & Chen, Debbie China  
Monkey King Young, Ed China  
The Mouse Bride Chang, Monica China/Taiwan  
Tenzin’s Deer Soros, Barbara China/Tibet  
A to Zen Wells, Ruth Japan Ages 8-12
A Carp for Kimiko Kroll, Virginia Japan Ages 4-12
Colors of Japan Littlefield, Holly Japan  
Grandpa’s Town Nomura, Takaaki Japan Ages 4-8
The Hungriest Boy in the World Namioka, Lensey Japan Ages 4-8
Kogi’s Mysterious Journey Partridge, Elizabeth Japan  
Little Daruma and Little Daikoku Kako, Satoshi Japan  
Little Daruma and Little Kaminari Kako, Satoshi Japan  
Little Daruma and Little Tengu Kako, Satoshi Japan  
Little Daruma and Little Tiger Kako, Satoshi Japan  
Little Daruma and the Three Little Tenjins Kako, Satoshi Japan  
The Magic Fan Baker, Keith Japan Ages 4-5
Oni Wa Soto Spagnoli, Cathy Japan  
Shibumi and the Kitemaker Mayer, Mercer Japan  
The Silver Charm San Souci, Robert D. Japan Ages 4-8
Yoshi’s Feast Kajikawa, Kimiko Japan Ages 6-10
Count Your Way through Korea Haskins, Jim Korea Ages 4-8
The Firekeeper’s Son Park, Linda Sue Korea Ages 5-8
The Green Frogs Heo, Yumi Korea Ages 4-9
The King’s Secret Farley, Carol Korea Ages 5-9
The Korean Cinderella Climo, Shirley Korea Ages 6-10
In the Moonlight Mist San Souci, Daniel Korea Ages 5+
Tigers, Frogs, and Rice Cakes Holt, Daniel (translator) Korea All ages
The Two Love Stars Lee Mi-ae Korea  
Woodcutter and Tiger Brother Rhee, Nami Korea Ages 4-9
It’s Back to School We Go! Jackson, Ellen Asia  
Chinese Stories
At the Beach
A boy and his mother are at the beach and he draws characters in the sand. As he does, his mother explains what they are and what they mean.
The Ballad of Mulan
The famous story about a Chinese girl, Hua Mu Lan, who fought in the place of her father against the invading enemies. She returns home a hero. This is in rhyming poem form (a ballad).
Beautiful Warrior
Mingyi is trapped. If she doesn’t marry the bandit Soong Ling, he will ruin her family’s business—and her life! She turns to the legendary Wu Mei, the “beautiful warrior.” Will Wu Mei defend her again, having previously used her kung fu against a pair of thieves to save Mingyi?
Bitter Dumplings
A story about an orphaned girl abandoned by her siblings, a slave escaping from a mighty emperor’s ship, and a hunchbacked old woman known for the bitter-melon and shrimp dumplings she brings to market each day. Their stories of hardship and disappointment become intertwined, and their lives change for the better.
Cat and Rat
The emperor has a race for all the animals and the first 12 animals at the finish line will have a year named after them (Chinese Zodiac).
Celebrating Chinese New Year
Chinese traditions, festivals, and meanings are explained through photographs and words. The book follows the experience of a boy named Ryan and includes getting ready for the New Year, honoring ancestors, Chinese Zodiac, Lion Dance, and more.
China’s Bravest Girl
The famous story about a Chinese girl, Hua Mu Lan, who fought in the place of her father against the invading enemies. She returns home a hero. This is in prose, with the original Chinese included.
Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes
Short Chinese poems for children.
Count Your Way through China
Through the use of numbers, the book teaches about China and its culture, including the numbers one through ten in Chinese.
D Is for Doufu: An Alphabet Book of Chinese Culture
This book introduces readers to Chinese culture, beliefs, and legends in today’s context. It explores the meanings of 23 Chinese words and phrases while providing interesting historical and cultural background.
The Dragon Prince
A Chinese Beauty and the Beast tale. There is a poor farmer who has seven daughters. One day, the farmer is seized by a dragon. The dragon demands one of the farmer’s daughters for a wife. The first six daughters refuse, while the seventh accepts. She discovers that her bridegroom is not at all what he seems.
The Emperor and the Kite
Princess Djeow Seow, youngest and smallest daughter of the Emperor, is not thought of very much by her family. So she spends her days playing with a kite made from paper and sticks. When the Emperor is captured and imprisoned in a high tower, Djeow Seow, who saw it all but was unnoticed, attempts to rescue her father.
The Greatest Treasure
About an unhappy rich man in China who had a poor neighbor who was always happily playing his flute with his children. A story about sharing your treasures and how money can’t buy happiness, but happiness comes from within.
Happy New Year! (Kung-His Fa-Ts’ai!)
Explains what goes on at a Chinese New Year Celebration. It also teaches about the meanings of flowers and trees, foods, and the many different aspects of religion related to the New Year celebration.
I Once was a Monkey King
In an abandoned temple, a monkey finds shelter during a monsoon. But he is not alone. Other animals have hidden themselves in there too. To pass the time, a statue of Buddha that has come to life tells the animals a story. This introduces stories Buddha once told.
The Laziest Boy in the World
Xiaolong is known as the laziest boy in his village. Everything, even playing, seems like too much effort until one night when a thief comes creeping into Xiaolong’s house to steal his family’s things. Xiaolong knows he is the only one who can stop the sneaky thief. But will the anger he suddenly feels be powerful enough to overcome his laziness and help him protect his family before it is too late?
Lon Po Po
The Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf sneaks into the house and pretends to be grandma. But the oldest child tricks the wolf, and they are safe.
Long Is a Dragon
This book explains about Chinese characters and how they came from pictures a long time ago. It teaches children how to write Chinese.
The Lost Horse
This story is about a four-character Chinese proverb about the ever-changing fortunes of life. A wise man named Sai who owns a fast, strong horse. The horse runs away, and the people say it “might not be such a bad thing.” The horse returns with a mare, but Sai replies, “Perhaps it is not such a good thing.”
The Making of a Monkey King
There was a monkey born from a stone who become the monkey’s king. He was sad when he realized he would die someday and leave this happy place. When an old gibbon told him that Buddhas, Immortals, and Sages were not subject to death, he rushed off in the pursuit of the secret to eternal life. When he returned to his mountain after receiving immortality, he discovered his fellow monkeys had been captured.
Monkey King
A clever, courageous, and ambitious monkey travels to Square Inch Mountain to perfect the art of turning cloud somersaults, riding the wind, changing shape, and disappearing in the blink of an eye. Then Monkey eagerly shows off his magic skills by tricking Dragon King and battling Jade Emperor. Monkey is so arrogant, he even gets into trouble with Buddha himself.
The Mouse Bride—A Chinese Folktale
Father Mouse wishes to arrange a marriage for his daughter with the mightiest creature in the world. He first approaches the Sun, then the Cloud, then the Wind and then the Wall. In the end, he learns that the mouse is the mightiest of all. English/Chinese (traditional characters).
Tibetan Stories
Tenzin’s Deer: A Tibetan Tale
Born beneath a brilliant comet, Tenzin is wiser than his years and holds in his memory the knowledge of many generations. He is kind to both people and animals, wild and tame. When he discovers a wounded musk deer high up in the hills, he feels the creature’s pain as if it were his own and tenderly takes it home to try to heal it. He names it Jampa, “loving kindness.” That night, as sleep overcomes him, he has a dream that shows him how he can cure his new friend. Day by day, the deer recovers, but Tenzin has yet to understand one of the most important lessons of all: how to love enough to let go.
Japanese Stories
A to Zen
When people think of Japan, they think of an ancient land with temples and rock gardens, with eternal Mount Fuji brooding above the islands. But they also think of VCR’s, bullet trains, and the high-tech neon clutter of Tokyo. Which is the real Japan? They are both real and both very much a part of modern Japan. As the title suggests, letters play a part in the structure of this book, but this is not merely an alphabet book about Japan.
A Carp for Kimiko
Kimiko is sad because another Children’s Day is approaching and her parents are hanging up a carp kite for her younger brother. This used to be a day only for boys, and her parents are sticking to the tradition. Her mom reminds her about Girl’s Day and how they bring out special dolls to play with only on that day. Kimiko admires the carp kites and still longs for one. The morning of Children’s Day, she wakes up to a surprise in her room.
Colors of Japan
Through the use of colors, this book teaches about Japan and its culture, including the basic colors.
Grandpa’s Town
Yuuta is visiting his widowed grandfather. Yuuta and his mother want him to come and stay at their house rather than live alone. When Yuuta goes with his grandfather to the public bath, he learns that his grandfather is not alone but rather has lots of friends in his town.
The Hungriest Boy in the World
Jiro will put anything in his mouth. But one day he makes a big mistake. After putting a purple blob into his mouth, he discovers he has swallowed the Hungry Monster. Now nothing is safe from Jiro’s appetite. What is Jiro’s family to do? They try the town doctor and the village priest, but nothing seems to work. Can they come up with a solution before they are eaten out of house and home?
Kogi’s Mysterious Journey
On the shores of Lake Biwa, the artist Kogi paints mountains, trees, waterfalls, and fish, hoping to create on paper the beauty that inspires him. But instead, his pictures disappoint him. One morning, Kogi wades into the water to give a fish back its freedom, since he cannot capture it with his ink and brushes. One step, then another… A remarkable transformation begins, leading Kogi into a world of unimagined peace and wonder—but also danger.
Little Daruma and Little Daikoku
Little Daikoku has a magic mallet that brings all kinds of wonderful things when he shakes it. Little Daruma also makes his own magic mallet, but it doesn’t quite bring the same results! Little Daruma, a playful doll who lives with his family in a magical, faraway land, is one of Japan’s best-loved children’s book characters. This fifth volume of the Little Daruma books lives up to the magic of the series.
Little Daruma and Little Kaminari
Even rainy days can turn out for the best! A chance meeting with Little Kaminari leads Little Daruma on a wonderful trip to a city in the clouds. Little Daruma, a playful doll who lives with his family in a magical, faraway land, is one of Japan’s best-loved children’s book characters. This second volume of the Little Daruma books will thrill readers with its amazing turns.
Little Daruma and Little Tengu
From his fan to his hat to his clogs, Little Daruma wants everything that Little Tengu has. Things come to a head when Little Daruma asks his father for a nose (or hana) just like Little Tengu’s (hana meaning both “nose” and “flower” in Japanese). Little Daruma, a playful doll who lives with his family in a magical, faraway land, is one of Japan ’s best-loved children’s book characters. This first volume of the Little Daruma books will delight readers with its many surprises.
Little Daruma and Little Tiger
Little Daruma spends a day with his friend, Little Tiger, and together they bring a wonderful new rainbow of colors to Tiger Town. Little Daruma, a playful doll who lives with his family in a magical, faraway land, is one of Japan’s best-loved children’s book characters. This third volume of the Little Daruma books finds Little Daruma enjoying the most colorful of adventures.
Little Daruma and the Three Little Tenjins
Little Daruma’s fishing excapade does not net him any fish, but three new spirit-friends who introduce him to the thrills of their way of life! Little Daruma, a playful doll who lives with his family in a magical, faraway land, is one of Japan’s best-loved children’s book characters. This sixth volume of the Little Daruma books lives up to the magic of the series.
The Magic Fan
One night as the moon rose over the sea, a magic fan floated in the waves. This is a story of the carpenter boy who found it and how it changed his life forever.
Oni Wa Soto
Once upon a time there was a man who loved to eat beans. Every day he ate beans: bean cake, bean paste, and bean soup too. One day, he wakes up with a stomach ache. He thinks he is going to die, so his wife runs to ask the wise man in the mountains what he should do. He suggests that her husband eat a bug to eat the beans in his stomach. After he eats the bug, he starts crawling around like a bug. The wise man then suggests he eat a frog to eat the bug. But after he eats it, he starts jumping like a frog. This continues until finally he eats an Oni, and after they toss some beans, the Oni runs out of his mouth pulling out the hunter, the bird, the snake, the frog, the bug, and finally the beans.
Shibumi and the Kitemaker
Brought up within the walls of the beautiful palace, the princess has always believed that the city beyond her walled garden is even more lovely. When she discovers that it is, in fact, a horrible place full of suffering, she wonders how her world and the one outside can be so different. She devises a plan to end the suffering. With the royal kitemaker’s assistance, Shibumi flies a magnificent kite from the castle tower, vowing not to come down until the emperor agrees to her demands. She is lost in the wind, and the grieving Emperor resolves to fulfill her wishes.
The Silver Charm
Long ago, in the days when there were still ogres in the world, lived a little boy named Satsu. His best friends were a puppy and a fox cub that went everywhere Satsu went. Satsu was not allowed to go near the woods and forbidden to lose his silver charm. One day, the red berries near the woods smelled so sweet that Satsu forgot his parents’ warnings, and instantly he was snatched up by a hideous ogre. He traded his silver charm for his life. Back at home, he became ill without his silver charm to protect him. His brave friends sought a way to get the charm back from the ogre. But did they get it back in time?
Yoshi’s Feast
Long ago in the Japanese city of Yedo, there lived a fan maker named Yoshi who loved to eat broiled eels. His neighbor, Sabu, served eels to his customers. But Yoshi loved the sound of the coins jingling in his money box too much to buy Sabu’s eels. Sitting alone, eating boiled rice and enjoying the smells of Sabu’s cooking, he was content—until Sabu presented him with a bill for all the ells he had smelled! In life, as in business, you often get what you pay for.
Korean Stories
Count Your Way through Korea
Through the use of numbers, the book teaches about Korea and its culture, including the numbers one through ten in Korean.
The Firekeeper’s Son
Sang-hee’s father is in charge of lighting a fire to signal the firekeeper on the next mountain to light his fire, and so on—all the way to the king’s palace. When the king sees a fire on the nearest peak, he knows all is well in the land. If there is no fire, that means there is trouble, and the king will send soldiers to fight in the invaders. Sang-hee is a boy who, for the first time, must choose between his own desires and the expectations of his family, his community, and his country.
The Green Frogs
Two green frogs love disobeying their mother. They always do the opposite of whatever she tells them to do. They’re so contrary that they even croak backwards! This is a story of some misbehaving frogs and their long-suffering mother who tries to teach them to behave.
The King’s Secret
When a humble servant boy tells of his longing to read and write, King Sejong sets out to create a simple yet beautiful way to write the Korean language. But people reject the new way of writing—until the servant boy gives the king another grand idea. King Sejong ruled Korea from 1418-1450, and up to this point Koreans only had Chinese characters for writing, which were too difficult for those too poor to study.
The Korean Cinderella
Pear Blossom is born to a poor couple. Her mother dies, and her father remarries. She is mistreated by Omoni, her jealous stepmother. Omoni gives her three impossible tasks that no human could possibly do alone. But Pear Blossom is not alone—magical animals assist her. With the help of these creatures, Pear Blossom becomes a nobleman’s wife.
In the Moonlight Mist
One day in the forest, a woodcutter rescues an enchanted deer stalked by a hunter. In return for saving its life, the deer offers to make the woodcutter’s secret wish come true: to have a wife to love. Beyond a wall of thorny vines lies a bewitching lake where maidens descend from heaven to bathe. He follows the instructions of the deer, and one of the maidens becomes his wife. They are happy until the maiden grows homesick for heaven.
Tigers, Frogs, and Rice Cakes
A book of Korean proverbs with explanations in the back, including some expressions we use in English for the same proverb. Each proverb depicts a belief system or symbol representative of the Korean people, where character and cooperation are highly revered.
The Two Love Stars
Two heavenly beings, Kyonu and Chingnyo, get married. But after they wed, they neglect their duties, and the king of the stars banishes the two lovers to different sides of the Milky Way. Here they work hard because only one day out of the year (July 7) do they get to meet again, crossing the Milky Way on the backs of a bridge of magpies.
Woodcutter and Tiger Brother
This book shows us the spirit of the Korean people who are filled with courage and wit. It also tells us that "filial piety," or faithfulness to parents, is the prime Korean virtue.
Asian Stories
It’s Back to School We Go!
Eleven first-day-of-school stories from around the world. Each child’s first-person account is enhanced by a fact box that tells us something about the culture from which the child speaks, so that the reader is able to compare and contrast the experiences of children from different parts of the world. In words and pictures the author and artist have captured the diversity of children’s school experiences, while at the same time capturing how much the world’s children have in common.