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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)

Introduces 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 Winchester  (J394.2695 Winc)

Briefly 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)

A 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.  (Japanese American)

Beautiful Warrior: the legend of the Nun's kung fu/ Emily Arnold McCully  (J398.2 McCu)

Tells the 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)

A young Cambodian girl saves her money to buy a bird on which to make a wish for her poor family's future. ( Cambodia)

Call it Courage/ Armstrong Sperry (J Sper) 

Based 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)

Introduces the Chinese zodiac and relates how each of its twelve signs was named for an animal selected by the Jade Emperor.  (China)

Children of the dragon : selected tales from Vietnam / Sherry Garland (J398.2 Gar)

An illustrated collection of Vietnamese folktales with explanatory notes following each story.  (Vietnam)

Chinese New Year/ Catherine Chambers (J394.261 Cham)

Describes 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  (J895.61 Goll)

A 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.  (Japan)

Gay-Neck; the story of a pigeon/ Dhan Gopal Mukerji (J Muke)

The 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.  (India)

The ghost in the Tokaido Inn/ Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler (J Hoob & YA Hoob)

While 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 Japan. (Japan)

 Grandfatherís journey/ Allen Say (E Say)

A 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.  (Japanese American)

 Hush! : a Thai lullaby / Minfong Ho  (J811.54 Ho)

A lullaby which asks animals such as a lizard, monkey, and water-buffalo to be quiet and not disturb the sleeping baby.  (Thailand)

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson / Bette Bao Lord (J Lord)

In 1947, a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn where she becomes Americanized at school, in her apartment building, and by her love for baseball.  (Chinese American)

The journal of Ben Uchida, citizen 13559, Mirror Lake Internment Camp /Barry Denenberg (J Dene)

Twelve-year-old Ben Uchida keeps a journal of his experiences as a prisoner in a Japanese internment camp in Mirror Lake, California, during World War II.  (Japanese American)

Kites:  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)

Three sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is disguised as their grandmother.  (China)  Also available in audio cassette

The lotus seed / Sherry Garland (E Gar)

A young 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.  (Vietnam)  Also available on videocassette.

Monkey King / Ed Young (E You)

In his 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)

After dying, a Tibetan woodcutter is given the choice of going to heaven or to live another life anywhere in the universe.  (Tibet)

Nine-in-one, Grr! Grr! :   a folktale from the Hmong people of Laos /Blia Xiong  (J398.2 Bli)

When the 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.  (Laos)

Once A Mouse/ Marcia Brown (J398.2 Brow)

As it changes from mouse, to cat, to dog, to tiger a hermitís pet also becomes increasingly vain.  (India)

One grain of rice / Demi  (J398.2 Demi)

A reward 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.  (India)  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.

 Possum magic /Mem Fox            (E Fox)

Two Australian possums go in search of the magic that will make the invisible one of them visible.  (Australia)

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi/ Rudyard Kipling (J Kipl)    

A courageous mongoose thwarts the evil plans of Nag and Nagaina two big black cobras who live in the garden.  (India )  Also available in audio cassette.

The runaway rice cake /Ying Chang Compestine (E Comp)

After 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 Sas)

Hospitalized 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.  (Japan)  Also see Hiroshima: a novella by Laurence Yep.

 Seven blind mice / Ed Young  (E398.2 You)

Retells 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.  (India)

 The seven Chinese brothers / Margaret Mahy (J398.2 Mah)

Seven 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)

After 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.  (Japan)  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)

In 1841, 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)

When 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 American)  Also available in audio cassette.

The squiggle / Carole Lexa Schaefer (E Scha)

As she 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.  (China)

The Story of Little Babaji/ Helen Bannerman ( E Bann)

A 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)

A family prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good luck they hope it will bring. (China)  Also see:  The dancing dragon by Marcia K. Vaughn.

Tigers at Twilight/ Mary Pope Osborne ( J Osbo)

Having 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  (E Say)

A 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)

On a 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.  (Australia)

Year of impossible goodbyes / Sook Nyul Choi (J Choi & YA Choi)

A young Korean girl survives the oppressive Japanese and Russian occupation of North Korea during the 1940s, to later escape to freedom in South Korea.  (Korea)  Also available in audio cassette.

Yeh-Shen:  A Cinderella story from China/ Ai-Ling Louie (J Lou)  (China) 

Also 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

Compiled by J. Holovack & D. Majchrzak

       Copyright © 1996-2002 Disclaimer. All rights reserved. Credits. 05.01.15
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