Tales from the Far East
Books and Videos
The Pacific Rim comprises not only
China and Japan, but also India, Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam,
Guam, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, New Zealand,
Australia, the Aleutian Islands, and the many small island chains in
that area of the world.
A to Zen : a book of Japanese
culture /Ruth Wells (J495.6 Wel)
Japanese words from A to Z. Book is designed to be read from back to
front and from right to left. (Japan)
Asian Holidays/ Faith
describes eight festivals celebrated by Chinese, Japanese and
Vietnamese, including various New Year's festivals, Ch'ing Ming, and
Buddha's birthday. (Asia)
Baseball saved us / Ken
Mochizuki (J Moch)
Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family
are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his
ability to play helps him after the war is over.
Beautiful Warrior: the legend
of the Nun's kung fu/ Emily Arnold McCully (J398.2 McCu)
story of two unlikely kung fu masters and how their skill in martial
arts saves them both. (China)
The caged birds of Phnom Penh /
Frederick Lipp (E Lipp)
Cambodian girl saves her money to buy a bird on which to make a wish
for her poor family's future. (
Courage/ Armstrong Sperry (J Sper)
on the Polynesian legend, this is the story of a youth who overcomes
his fear of the sea and proves his courage to himself and his tribe. (Polynesia) Also
available in audio cassette.
Cat and Rat:
The legend of the Chinese zodiac/ Ed Young (J133.5 Youn)
the Chinese zodiac and relates how each of its twelve signs was named
for an animal selected by the Jade Emperor.
Children of the dragon :
selected tales from Vietnam / Sherry Garland (J398.2 Gar)
illustrated collection of Vietnamese folktales with explanatory notes
following each story. (Vietnam)
Chinese New Year/ Catherine
Chambers (J394.261 Cham)
the traditions, ceremonies, and foods associated with the celebration
of the Chinese New Year. (China)
Cool melons--turn to frogs! :
the life and poems of Issa / Matthew Gollub
biography and introduction to the work of the Japanese haiku poet
whose love for nature finds expression in the more than thirty poems
included in this book.
story of a pigeon/ Dhan Gopal Mukerji (J Muke)
story of the training of a carrier pigeon and its service during the
First World War, revealing the birdís courageous and spirited
adventures over the housetops of an Indian Village, in the Himalayan
Mountains, and on the French battlefield.
The ghost in the Tokaido Inn/
Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler (J Hoob & YA Hoob)
attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikei, a
merchant's son who longs to be a
samurai, joins a group of kabuki actors in eighteenth-century
journey/ Allen Say (E Say)
Japanese American man recounts his grandfatherís journey to America
which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a
love for two different countries.
Hush! : a Thai lullaby /
Minfong Ho (J811.54 Ho)
which asks animals such as a lizard, monkey, and water-buffalo to be
quiet and not disturb the sleeping baby.
In the Year of the Boar and
Jackie Robinson / Bette Bao Lord (J Lord)
a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn where she becomes Americanized at
school, in her apartment building, and by her love for baseball.
The journal of Ben Uchida,
citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp /Barry Denenberg (J Dene)
Ben Uchida keeps a journal of his experiences as a prisoner in a
Japanese internment camp in Mirror Lake, California, during World War
magic wishes that fly up to the sky/ Demi (J394.26 Demi)
Lon Po Po:
a Red-Riding Hood story form China/ Ed Young (J398.2 You)
sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is
disguised as their grandmother. (China)
Also available in audio
The lotus seed / Sherry Garland
Vietnamese girl saves a lotus seed and carries it with her everywhere
to remember a brave emperor and the homeland that she has to flee.
Also available on videocassette.
Monkey King / Ed Young (E You)
journey to a more enlightened state, a monkey must end his trickery
and understand that there is strength in admitting weakness. Based on
a section of the Chinese epic "Journey to the West." (China)
The mountains of Tibet /
Mordicai Gerstein (E Ger)
dying, a Tibetan woodcutter is given the choice of going to heaven or
to live another life anywhere in the universe.
Nine-in-one, Grr! Grr! :
a folktale from the Hmong people of Laos /Blia Xiong
great god Shao promises Tiger nine cubs each year, Bird comes up with
a clever trick to prevent the land from being overrun by tigers.
Once A Mouse/ Marcia Brown
As it changes from mouse, to
cat, to dog, to tiger a hermitís pet also becomes increasingly vain.
One grain of rice / Demi
of one grain of rice doubles day by day into millions of grains of
rice when a selfish raja is outwitted by a clever village girl.
Also see The Funny Little Woman
by Arlene Mosel for a Caldecott Medal winner of a similar story in
Japan; also available as a KIT.
magic /Mem Fox
Australian possums go in search of the magic that will make the
invisible one of them visible.
Rudyard Kipling (J Kipl)
courageous mongoose thwarts the evil plans of Nag and Nagaina two big
black cobras who live in the garden. (India
) Also available in audio
The runaway rice cake /Ying
Chang Compestine (E Comp)
chasing the special rice cake, Nian Gao, that their mother has made to
celebrate the Chinese New Year, three poor brothers share it with an
elderly woman and have their generosity richly rewarded. (China)
Sadako and the thousand paper
cranes / Eleanor Coerr (JB
with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima
races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the
legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy.
Also see Hiroshima: a novella
by Laurence Yep.
Seven blind mice / Ed
Young (E398.2 You)
in verse the Indian fable of the blind men discovering different parts
of an elephant and arguing about its appearance.
The illustrations depict the blind arguers as mice.
seven Chinese brothers / Margaret Mahy (J398.2 Mah)
Chinese brothers elude execution by virtue of their extraordinary
individual qualities. (China)
For a similar tale told in
Japan, see The Warrior and the Wise Man by David Wisniewski.
Shen of the sea:
Chinese stories for children/Arthur Bowie Chrisman (J Chri)
Sixteen original stories
reflecting the spirit of Chinese life and thought. (China)
Shibumi and the kitemaker /
Mercer Mayer (E Maye)
seeing the disparity between the conditions of her father's palace and
the city beyond its walls, the Emperor's daughter has the royal
kitemaker build a huge kite to take her away from it all.
Read The Emperor and the Kite
by Jane Yolen for a Chinese folktale about kites.
Shipwrecked! : the true
adventures of a Japanese boy / Rhoda Blumberg (JB Nake)
rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him
and his four companions castaways on a remote island,
fourteen-year-old Manjiro learns new laws and customs as he becomes
the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. (Japan)
So far from the sea / by Eve
Bunting (E Bunt)
seven-year-old Laura and her family visit Grandfather's grave at the
Manzanar War Relocation Center, the Japanese American child leaves
behind a special symbol. (Japanese
Also available in audio cassette.
The squiggle / Carole Lexa
Schaefer (E Scha)
walks to the park with her school class, a young girl finds a piece of
string which her imagination turns into a dragon's tail, an acrobat,
fireworks, a storm cloud, and more.
The Story of
Little Babaji/ Helen Bannerman ( E Bann)
little boy in India loses his fine new clothes to the tigers but while
they dispute who is the grandest tiger in the jungle he takes his fine
clothes back again. (India)
This next New Year / Janet S.
Wong (E Wong)
prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good
luck they hope it will bring. (China)
The dancing dragon by Marcia K. Vaughn.
Twilight/ Mary Pope Osborne ( J Osbo)
used their magic tree house to travel to India, where they must get a
gift to help free the dog Teddy from a spell, Jack and Annie have
adventures involving a tiger and other endangered jungle animals. (India)
Tree of Cranes/ Allen Say
Japanese boy learns of Christmas when his mother decorates a pine tree
with paper cranes. (Japan)
Where the forest meets the sea
/Jeannie Baker (E Bak)
camping trip in an Australian rain forest with his father, a young boy
thinks about the history of the plant and animal life around him and
wonders about their future.
Year of impossible goodbyes /
Sook Nyul Choi (J Choi & YA Choi)
Korean girl survives the oppressive Japanese and Russian occupation of
North Korea during the 1940s, to later escape to freedom in South
Also available in audio cassette.
A Cinderella story from China/ Ai-Ling Louie (J Lou)
available on videocassette.
Families of the World video
series: 30 minute
videos for ages 5-10. Videos
follow a day in the life of a child in a particular country.
Includes China, Thailand, Japan and India.
Trav's travels : China:
20 minute video for grades 3-6.
Explore the tomb of terra-cotta soldiers and bronze horses,
climb the Great Wall of China. See the water cities of Suzhou, the
Himalayan mountain range and plateaus of Tibet.
There are many
titles available by these authors: Allen
Say, Ed Young, Demi, Laurence Yep
by J. Holovack & D. Majchrzak