7 Bilingual Vietnamese English Children’s Books For Early Language Learners

Bilingual Vietnamese English Children's Books via I'm Not the Nanny

We recently visited another library near us. It has a brand new state-of-the-art building and is HUGE. One entire floor is dedicated to the children’s section. As we explored the new space, I discovered several shelves of Vietnamese language books! I had to keep myself from jumping up and down. I wish I’d had these when the kids were younger.

I discovered a new to me series of board books that teach toddlers and preschoolers basic Vietnamese words on concepts such as colors, fruit, and opposites. Each concept is illustrated with bright, bold photos or illustrations. Perfect for young language learners.

I think they’re also great for older folks (like me) who need a refresher on basic Vietnamese terms. These Vietnamese-English bilingual books don’t have a pronunciation guide, so if you’re not a speaker, ask someone to record them or Skype to help you for the first few reads.

Even though Sophia and Jaxson are past the age for board books, we like these because they have bright, fun photos. I hope you’ll find them as useful as we did. I might even sit my husband down and teach him more Vietnamese words.

Bilingual Vietnamese English Children’s Books For Early Language Learners

Fruit English-Vietnamese Bilingual Book

My First Bilingual Book-Fruit (English-Vietnamese)

Colors English-Vietnamese Bilingual Book

My First Bilingual Book-Colors (English-Vietnamese)

Opposites English-Vietnamese Bilingual Book

My First Bilingual Book-Opposites (English-Vietnamese)
Music English-Vietnamese Bilingual Book
My First Bilingual Book– Music (English–Vietnamese)

Sports English-Vietnamese Bilingual Book

My First Bilingual Book –Sports (English–Vietnamese)

Numbers English-Vietnamese Bilingual Book

My First Bilingual Book-Numbers (English-Vietnamese)

Smell English-Vietnamese Bilingual Book

My Bilingual Book– Smell (English–Vietnamese) This isn’t a board book and has complete sentences as opposed to short terms (compared to the others). The English text rhymes but the Vietnamese doesn’t. It’s still a fun read for you and the kids.

That’s just 7 in the bilingual book series from Millet Publishing. You can see the entire list of their Vietnamese bilingual children’s books on Amazon.

3 Tips For Building A Diverse Library For Your Kids

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Tips for Building a Diverse Library For Kids via I'm Not the Nanny #ad #back2schoolstockup

To say that our family loves books is an understatement. Our shelves are overflowing and books are littered on most flat surfaces in our apartment. I love excitement on my kids’ faces when they receive a new book. Even though we have a large library of reading material, it’s easy to purchase the same types of books over and over.

I try hard to provide Sophia and Jaxson with a diverse collection of books. For us, diversity means books that reflect the world we live in: cultural, racial, gender, or economic diversity. Don’t worry. It’s not difficult to grow your own collection with age appropriate diverse books for your kids.

It’s important for us to read books with characters who are different from us–no matter your skin color. Diverse books teach us about other cultures and lifestyles. This helps us become more compassionate human beings–an important skillset for raising global citizens.

Tips For Building a Diverse Library For Your Kids

1. Start with your kids’ interests. When Sophia was a preschooler, she loved everything about princesses. So in addition to the usually fairy tales we discovered at the library, I searched for books with independent princesses and princesses with brown skin. Now she can’t get enough of fantasy and science fiction, so I found diverse fantasy and science fiction books for our library. In fact, one of her favorite series is Spirit Animals. (Keep reading to see how you can get a free copy from Kellogg’s!)

Kellogg's offer for Scholastic books #ad #back2schoolstockup

2. Think beyond racial diversity. While it’s important for kids to learn about other cultures and races, we are diverse in many ways. Choose books that offer different views of gender, sexual orientation, economic level, physical disabilities or special needs. Not sure where to start? Check out We Need Diverse Books’ website.

3. The character’s diversity doesn’t need to be the plot. This is especially important. While issue-based books tell important stories (i.e. books on slavery, immigration, etc), seeing diverse characters dealing with everyday problems are just as important. The character’s differentness doesn’t have to be the star of the book.

Suggestions to Start Your Diverse Library

Not sure where to start when building your library? You can take a look at my multicultural book lists on this site for preschool through middle grade recommendations.

Diverse Chapter Books for Boys and Girls

You can also start your diverse library collection with Kellogg’s–just in time for back to school. Kellogg’s is offering a huge collection of full length books from Scholastic for free! Above are just a few of the diverse books I found from the list. There’s also a selection of Spanish and bilingual to choose from.

Sophia highly recommends the Grimtastic Girls and Spirit Animal series.

For a limited time, Kellogg’s will give 2 free books with codes from their specially marked products purchased at Sam’s Club. This means you can stock up on breakfast foods or snacks and earn free books! Kellogg’s will send you one book from their list of Scholastic best sellers. Kellogg’s will also send a book to a school in need. Pretty awesome, right?

Sunshine Cheez-It Display at Sam's Club #ad #back2schoolstockup

Our family stocked up on lunch box snacks: Cheez-Its. Not only are they a delicious addition to the kids’ lunch, they’re perfect to snack on while they read. I might have snuck a bag for myself.

Free book Code inside Kellogg's Box #ad #back2schoolstockup

Once you’ve purchased of a specially marked package of Kellogg’s products from Sam’s Club, it’s easy to redeem your free book. You’ll need the code inside the package. My 16-digit code was printed inside the Cheez-It box. I just removed all the bags, took a photo of the code, and placed the bags back inside for easy storage.

How to redeem your free book

How to redeem free book Kellogg's offer for Scholastic books #ad #back2schoolstockup

Step 1:  Once you have your code, head to the Kellogg’s free book offer site. You can preview the books available or click “Enter Code Now.”

Step 2: Enter your code in the box. You’ll have the option to log in, create an account, or just use as a guest.

Step 3: You have the option to choose a book or donate your book to a school or person of your choice. Remember, for every code you redeem, Kellogg’s is already donating a book to a school in need. That’s the 2 books part.

Kellogg's offer for Scholastic books #ad #back2schoolstockup

Step 4: Choose and order your free book.  The book will be mailed to you or you may choose an ebook format. Repeat with more codes to keep growing your collection of diverse books. You can redeem up to 30 free books!

I’m giving Jaxson first dibs on our free book and then Sophia can choose the next one. There’s nothing more exciting that receiving a new book–except reading it together with our family.

Want to sample Kellogg’s products? 

Check to see if the Sam’s Club near you is offering food demos (samples) on August 22 and 23, 2015. They’ll sample a variety of Kellogg’s products to try before you buy. Sophia and Jaxson love these food demos. It’s a great way to get them to try new foods.

If you’re not a Sam’s Club member, you can visit as a guest. Bring this invitation printed out to the Member Services Desk at your local Sam’s Club for a pass to shop for the day. A 10% service fee applies on all non-member purchases when shopping with this One-Day Pass (not applicable in CA, SC or Elmsford, NY). The 10% service fee does not apply if the non-member decides to join the Club at the time of purchase.

Which of these diverse books would you add to your kids’ collection?

9 Must Have Multicultural Craft Supplies for Kids

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Must Have Multicultural Craft Supplies for Kids via I'm Not the Nanny

After my last post about multicultural art supplies, I had to make another one about craft supplies! No matter what skin color your family is, giving kids the option of different colors is important. After all, they might want to create their friends and families who might not the be the traditional “peach” color.

Must Have Multicultural Craft Supplies for Kids

Who doesn’t love playing with modeling clay? I love how it squishes between my fingers. This set of skin tone modeling dough can reused or left to air dry for a permanent piece of art.

If you don’t need 6 buckets, try this smaller pack of Sargent Art Colors of My Friends Clay. Modeling clay is stiffer than playdough, so you’ll need to knead it a bit before it becomes soft and pliable.

Not good at cutting out people? These People Shapes come in 12 different colors!

These Face Pads would be fun for self-portraits!

Yay for multicultural construction paper! This set includes assorted skin-tone shades and complementary facial feature colors.

Multicultural chenille stems Remember when we called these pipe cleaners? Bend these into people or pipe cleaner pets!

Creativity Street Wonderfoam Multi-Cultural Colors While these foam only have 5 different skin tones, it’s a good start.

Kids of the World Foam Activity Kit

I love foam kits because they have everything I need. I’m crafty, but I dont’ always have time to prep supplies for art projects. This Kids of the World foam activity kit cute looks super fun. It would be perfect for a birthday party craft activity.

Loom Band Doll Patterns with Skin Tone Bands

Loom Band 2″ Doll Patterns Advanced DIY Kit  Technically not art supplies, but perfect for crafty kids who enjoy the Rainbow Loom. They can make loom band people in different colors! Or just add some skin tone rubber bands to your existing kit.

Make sure you check out my list of multicultural art supplies!

9 Must Have Multicultural Art Supplies For Kids

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Must Have Multicultural Art Supplies for Kids via I'm Not the Nanny

Remember when the only “skin” color in the crayon box was Peach? When I was young, my coloring books were full of “peach” people. Brown was too dark and peach was, well no one has peach colored skin, do they? I didn’t know that I could have used two colors to create a skin tone closer to mine.

Our kids have more options now. I love finding crayon boxes with multiple shades of brown. It’s important that kids can express themselves in their art. Even more important is giving them the options to do so and not limiting them to “peach.”

With back-to-school sales hitting stores now, you might even be able to score these multicultural art supplies at your local big box store. If not, Amazon is always open.

Must Have Multicultural Art Supplies

Crayola Multicultural Crayons These were the crayons I wished I had a kid!

Crayola Washable Multicultural Colors Markers I had no idea these existed until my girlfriend sent me a photo! Any parent with young kids will appreciate that these are washable.

Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers in Portrait These are great for the more sophisticated artist in your family. I might be talking about myself here.

Crayola Multicultural Colored Pencils If your kids are more into pencil colors, these are a great addition to the traditional color set.


If you’re looking for highly quality pencils, try Derwent Colorsoft Skintone PencilsThey come in a tin, which is great for travel.

Derwent Academy Watercolor Pencils, Skintones Watercolor pencils are two types of art supplies in one. Draw your picture with them and run over it with a wet paintbrush to turn your masterpiece into a watercolor! For less mess, try a water brush, where the water is stored in the barrel of the brush.

I’m excited to see these Cray-Pas Multicultural Oil Pastels. My kids love the way oil pastels just glide over paper. Trying drawing with them and then painting over it with water colors. It’s a fun way to mix your media.
I know not every parents enjoy the mess that comes with painting, but I swore by these Crayola Washable Paints when the kids were younger. Even better, let them “paint” the walls in your shower. Then play “window washer” and have them clean it up. For faster clean-up, let your kids paint in only their underwear or diaper.

Having a variety of skin toned construction paper is important too. Especially if your family has multiple skin tones like ours. Jaxson is really into collages of our family right now.

Do you have any of these in your art stash? 

Want more? Here’s a list of multicultural craft supplies!

Buy 1 month of Junior Explorers, get the next month free with code: GET1

6 Books On Raising Mixed Race Children

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Books On Raising Mixed Race Children via I'm Not the Nanny

I can’t believe I’ve yet to share a book list for parents/families raising mixed raced children! I’ve received emails from many of you asking for more resources, so let’s start with books for us, the adults raising our multicultural kids.

I haven’t read all of these books yet. If you have, please share your thoughts!

6 Books On Raising Mixed Race Children

Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?: A Parent’s Guide To Raising Multiracial Children by Donna Jackson Nakazawa: The mother of two mixed race children, Nakazawa researched and interviewed parents of multiracial children for this book. She discusses how race is perceived at different ages and offers parents examples of dialogue when kids ask questions about their skin color versus their parents. There’s also a section on how to deal with intrusive comments or “Your kids are sooo beautiful!” comments. (I guess I should have read this book sooner.)

I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World by Marguerite A. Wright: Wright believes that a child’s concept of race is very different from ours. Based on her research and clinical experience, she aims to help parents and teachers guide the positivite development of children’s self esteem. The book discusses race perception at different ages/stages and important issues as how we discuss black hair.

Mixed Race 3.0: Risk and Reward in the Digital Age by Ulli K. Ryder and Marcia Alesan Dawkins: As a someone who is not mixed race, I will never truly understand what it will be like to grow up as such, but I try to learn by reading about others’ experiences. Dawkins, who is mixed, has written many books and essays about race. I’m especially looking forward to reading her latest, a collaboration with Ulli K. Ryder. It’s a combination of memoir and case study that aims to take the conversation about being multiracial past “What are you?” This book is the most recent book on I’ve found.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.d. As one of the two Asian Americans in my high school (the other being my sister), I definitely noticed the self-segregation in my school cafeteria. Tatum explores this even further with different races/ethnicities in college and corporate cafeterias. Tatum asserts that we’ve waited far too long to begin our conversations about race. Considering this book was written in 2003, we still have a lot of talking to do about racial injustices. Her words can help guide parents who aren’t sure where to start when discussing race.

Mixed: Multiracial College Students Tell Their Life Stories edited by Andrew Garrod, Robert Kilkenny, Christina Gomez: Filled essays from students at Dartmouth College of diverse backgrounds, this book gives a glimpse into the complex lives of those who identify with more than one race. The college students share how their parents’ views shaped their childhoods and how their perceptions affect their relationships.

When Half Is Whole: Multiethnic Asian American Identities by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu: As the parent of children who are Asian American and African American, I find that many books focus on the raising biracial children who are black and white. This book discusses multiracial families who are part Asian American and part “other.” The book blurb also mentions people who identify themselves “Mexipino” and “Blackinawan” which makes me smile as my husband and I joke that our kids are “Blackinese.”

That’s just a short list with the little research I’ve done. If you know of more, please share in the comments!

Next up, I’ll share a my favorite bloggers who write about race and children.

14 Chapter Books That Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage

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14 Chapter Books That Celebrate  Asian Pacific American Heritage via I'm Not the Nanny

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! That means I can eat even more Asian food! Kidding aside, I wanted to create a list of chapter books that celebrate Asian Pacific American heritage. I’ve already created a list of APA Heritage picture books, so why not early and middle grade chapter books? These books run the gamut. They recall Asian Americans’ rocky past in the United States and celebrate how we’ve integrated our Asian traditions with our American culture.

Here’s some Asian American chapter books that we’re adding to our reading list.

The Shark King by Technically not a chapter book, but an exciting graphic novel geared towards young boys. Set in Hawaii, young Nanaue encounters sharks and superheroes. Perfect for beginning readers. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han: Clara loves her best friends, her sister, her fancy Korean dress, and the Apple Blossom Festival. With her ever changing luck, will she be able to win the Little Miss Apple Pie pageant?  Recommended for ages 8-12.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhhà Lại: This Newbery Honor and National Book Award winning book is told in verse from the eyes of a young girl named Hà. Inspired by the author’s childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam and immigrating to Alabama, this novel tells how Hà and her family escaped and how they adapted to their new lives. Recommended for ages 8-12. 

 Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lại: American born Mai is looking forward to summer vacation at the California’s beaches. Instead, she must travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is returning to find out what happened to her husband. Mai’s parents hope the trip will help her appreciate her Vietnamese heritage, but Mai sees the country as her parents’ roots–not her own. Recommended for ages 8-12. 

The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 by Lauren Yep: Based on events of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Yep tells the story from the perspectives of two young friends. The novel alternates between young Chinese immigrant Chin and Travis, an American banker’s son. Recommended for ages 8-12. 

Pacy Lin Novels by Grace Lin: These three novels follow Taiwanese American Pacy Lin as she navigates school and her town and tries to find balance between her two cultures. Order of the books: The Year of of the Dog, The Year of the Rat, and Dumpling Days. Recommended for ages 8-12. 

Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time by Lisa Yee: Stanford is in big trouble. If he doesn’t pass his summer school English class, he won’t pass sixth grade nor will he start the A-team.  Can he pull it together through his parents fights and his grandmother’s nursing home move? Recommended for ages 8-12. 

Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park: Julia Soong’s mother suggests that she and her friend Patrick team up to raise silkworms in order to win a blue ribbon at the state fair. Julia thinks the project is too Korean and wants a real American project, but Patrick is thrilled. Recommended for ages 8-12. 

 Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent: Joseph Calderaro’s teacher has given him the difficult assignment to write an essay about his ancestors. Adopted into an Italian American family, all Joseph knows about his birth family is that he’s from Korea. Recommended for ages 8-12.

The Thing About Luck
 by Cynthia Kadohata:
  An emergency whisks Summer’s parents away to Japan right before the Midwest’s harvest season. She and her younger brother are left in the care of their grandparents, whom the children find old-fashioned and demanding. Recommended for ages 10-14.

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata: After Pearl Harbor is attacked, Sumiko and her family’s lives are thrown into chaos. Their family is forced to leave their flower farm in Southern California to live an internment camp in the Arizona desert. Recommended for ages 10-14.

Roots and Wings by Many Ly: Grace and her mother return to Cambodia in order to give her grandmother a proper burial. During the trip, Grace attempts to learn the identify of her father and why her grandmother left their country to live in Pennsylvania. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

What would you add to this list? I’d love some recommendations for books about East Asian American heritage (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, etc).

READ MORE: Diverse Chapter Book Series for Summer Reading

19 Cinderella Stories From Around the World

19 Cinderella Stories From Around the World via I'm Not the Nanny

Since she was a toddler, the story of Cinderella has been my daughter’s favorite fairy tale. Most of the us are familiar with the classic Disney retelling of the tale, but did you know one of the very first Cinderella stories is the Chinese folk tale? I personally grew up with Vietnamese’s Tam Cam, who befriended a magical fish.

Some of these multicultural Cinderellas played a much more active role in her destiny and will empower your daughters to take control of their own lives. Here’s a few Cinderella stories from around the world to read with your kids.

Cinderella Stories From Around the World

Vietnam: Tam and Cam by Minh Quoc and illustrated by Mai Long (Bilingual English/Vietnamese)

ChinaYeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China Ai-Ling Louie

AlgonquinThe Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin

Caribbean: Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci and illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Greece: The Orphan: A Cinderella Story from Greece by Anthony Manna & Soula Mitakidou and illustrated by Giselle Potter

Islam: Cinderella: An Islamic Tale by Fawzia Gilani

Mexica: Adelita by Tomie dePaola

Laos: Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella by Jewell Reinhard Coburn and Tzexa Cherta Lee and illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien

India: Anklet for a Princess: A Cinderella Story from India by Meredith Brucker and Lila Mehta and illustrated by Youshan Tang

Persia/Middle East: The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and illustrated Robert Florczak

Korea: The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Ruth Heller

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe

Ireland: The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo and illustrated Krupinski

Indonesia: The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Reynolds Ruffins

Cuba: Adelaida: A Cuban Cinderella by Anna Monnar and illustrated Nancy Michaud

Philippines: Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella by Myrna J. de la Paz and illustrated by Youshan Tang

Cambodia: Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn and illustrated by Eddie Flotte

Egypt: The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Ruth Heller

Ojibiwa: Sootface by Robert D. San Souci


Don’t see your culture’s Cinderella story above? Try Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleishman and illustrated by Julie Paschkis.

10 Biographies For Kids About Women Scientists and Explorers

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10 Biographies For Kids About Women Scientists and Explorers via I'm Not the Nanny

We’ve heard over and over how important it is to encourage our young girls to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Sophia has loved science and engineering since she was a toddler. Besides conducting science experiments in our home (like his Star Wars science experiment), we read a lot of biographies about women scientists.

In honor of Women’s History month, I’ve compiled a list of picture book biographies of women scientists and explorers you can read with your children. Whether our kids want become a engineer or a chef, reading about accomplished women is inspiring for boys and girls.

Biographies About Women Scientists & Explorers

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change by Jen Johnson and illustrated by Sonia Sadler showed my daughter that a woman could make a big change in the world. Beautifully illustrated, this book about Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai’s journey from young Kenyan girl to scientist to environmental activist. Wangari fought against tradition by going to school and speak out against companies who wanted to cut down her country’s giant mugumo trees that her people revered. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Life in the Ocean

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle written and illustrated by Claire A. Nivola: As a young girl, Sylvia fell in love with nature right in her backyard. Her passion grows as she discovers the Gulf of Mexico and literally dives deeper into the ocean. She goes on to design submersibles, swim with whales and took deep-water walks. Learn how Sylvia Earle lost her heart to the water and became an environmental advocate. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Fly High The Story of Bessie Coleman

Fly High!: The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger, illustrated by Teresa Flavin: I’m so glad I discovered this book at my local library! Bessie Coleman became the first African American to earn a pilot’s license. As a child she wanted to do something big with her life so she learned everything she could, even though her family couldn’t afford to send her to school. I think she accomplished her goal to do something big. Recommended for ages 9-12.

Night Flight Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic

Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor: We can’t forget Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. This book captures Earhart’s exciting solo journey with plenty of excitement. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Marvelous Mattie How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor

Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully: The pen and ink with watercolor illustrations will make readers feel like they’re in the middle of one of Margaret E. Knight’s sketchbooks.  As a child she brainstormed many inventions, but this “Lady Edison” is most know for her patent for a machine that cut and glued a square bottomed paper bag. Unfortunately, someone managed to steal her idea but learn how she fought to win her patent back. Recommended for ages 7-11.

Look up The Story of the First Woman Astronomer

Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raul Colon:  At the 21 years old, Henrietta Leavitt changed the course of astronomy, no small feat for a woman in the late 1800s. By measuring star positions and sizes, she discovered that some stars had a fixed patterned to their changes and made it possible for other astronomers to measure greater distances in space. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Mae Jemison: Awesome Astronaut

Mae Jemison: Awesome Astronaut by Jill C Wheeler: Speaking of space, why not learn more about Mae Jemison, the first African American female astronaut? This uber accomplished physician went into orbit on the Space Shuttle endeavor in 1992 and served in the Peace Corps before becoming an astronaut. She’s also been Star Trek TNG and holds nine honorary doctorates. I want to be Mae Jemison when I grow up!

Me Jane

Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell:  Our children’s librarian recommended this book to us and we adored it! See how Jane Goodall fell in love with the world around her as she explores nature as a young girl with her toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. This clever picture book uses anecdotes taken directly from Goodall’s autobiography to bring her passion to life for our young children. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Dare the Wind

Dare the Wind: The Record-breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud by Tracey Fern and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully: As a child, Eleanor’s father gave her sailing lessons and taught her how to navigate ships.  That skill came in handy when she and her husband navigated their ship to set the world record for speed on their voyage from New York City, around the tip of Cape Horn and into San Francisco. Recommended for ages 5-8.

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors


Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman: Elizabeth Blackwell became the  first female doctor, but her journey was tough. In the 1830s women were expected to be wives and murders, not have a career. However, she worked hard to graduate from medical school and opened doors for future female doctors. Recommended for ages 5-8.

There’s so many great biographies about women scientists and explorers out there, I wish I could have included them all. Do you have any favorites? Share in the comments. 

13 Diverse Graphic Novels For Kids

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13 Diverse Graphic Novels For Kids via I'm Not the Nanny #weneeddiversebooks

There’s no denying that graphic novels appeal to the kid in us as well as our own children. Jaxson really enjoys the wordless graphic novels since he’s just starting to read. We actually “read” them together and share our different interpretations of the story.

Sophia, on the other hand, used to exclusively read graphic novels–unless it was book for school. It didn’t bother me that she read them, but I wanted to diversify her reading. Her bag of library books is a 50/50 mix of graphic novels and chapter books.

Seeing diverse characters in graphic novels are just as important as picture and chapter books, especially when the story doesn’t revolve around race. Even more so, since the illustrated action can tell more of the story than the its dialogue. I’ve gather a few of our family favorites and some that’s on our list for when Sophia is a little bit older. Some feature diverse characters while others are written/drawn by authors of color.

Diverse Graphic Novels For Kids

Wave by Suzy LeeA few years ago, my sister gave the kids a copy of Wave by Suzy Lee. A little girl spends the day playing with the waves at the beach, but in a slightly different manner than we expect. Technically this isn’t a graphic novel, but it’s a wordless picture book geared towards preschoolers (and older). Wordless books are a gateway to graphic novels, right? Might as well start while they’re young. Recommended for preschoolers and older.

Here I Am by Patti Kim

I almost bypassed Here I Am by Patti Kim when I first saw it on my library’s shelf, but Jaxson picked it up. I’m glad he did! The story of a young boy and his family’s new life in America. They traveled a long way to live in a strange place. He’s not entirely happy about their new home, but one day accidentally discovers all the fun, exciting life in his neighborhood. He even finds a new friend. Don’t let the black and white drawing on the cover fool you. The illustrations capture the boy’s moods perfectly. Recommended for ages 5-10.

Akissi Feline Invasion by Marguerite Abouet & Mathieu Sapin

Akissi: Feline Invasion by Marguerite Abouet and illustrated by Mathieu Sapin came recommended by a Twitter friend. Follow Akissi’s adventure as she dodges the neighborhood cat who wants to steal her fish, avoids her pesky older brother, and save her pet monkey. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Davila

In Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Davila, Luz is ready to change the world! With frequent power outages and rising gas prices in her town, Luz has a plan to help her neighborhood live more sustainably. If youre child likes this graphic novel, make sure you read  Luz Makes a Splash, where Luz tackles water consumption. Recommended for ages 8-12.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis

I’m glad I finally convinced my daughter to read The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis. As a future scientist, my daughter fell in love with secret scientist Greta who–with her fellow junior high scientists–who tinker on gadgets like the Stink-O-Meter and Nightsneak Goggles. Can the inventors stop a heist with their creations? Recommended for ages 8-12.

Cleopatra in Space Target Practice by Mike Maihack

Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice by Mike Maihack is a science fiction graphic novel about the famous, young Cleopatra. She discovers a mysterious tablet that zaps her into the far, far future. Destined to save the galaxy form the evil Xaius, she enrolls in a space academy to train. I defnitely have to get a copy of this for Sophia! Recommended for ages 8-12.

El Deafo by Cece Bell

2015 Newberry Honor Book El Deafo by CeCeBell tackles how Bell’s hearing aid, the Phonic Ear, made making new friends at school challenging. This graphic novel memoir shares how Bell lost her hearing at a young age and how she was able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear to become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” Recommended for ages 8-12.

The Baby-Sitters Club Claudia and Mean Janine  by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier

I almost shrieked when I discovered that The Babysitters Club exists in graphic novel form. Claudia was the very first Asian American character I discovered that wasn’t an immigrant! Why not introduce your kids to this classic series with The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine  by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier. Recommended for ages 8-12.

Yummy by G Neri and Randy DuBurke

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri and illustrated by Randy DuBurke was recommended during a Twitter chat. Roger  searches for the truth behind the death of his classmate Robert “Yummy” Sandifer. This graphic novel is a dramatization based on gang life in Chicago in 1994. Recommended for ages 10-16.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

 The Arrival by Shaun Tan may not have any words, but his detailed drawings is all that’s needed to tell the story.  A lone immigrant leaves his wife and child behind to find better prospects in country far away. After you finish reading it, you’ll want to read all the books by the award winning AussieRecommended for ages 12 and up.

Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

On my personal reading list is National Book Award Finalist Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang. I had the honor of hearing him speak last fall at the Library of Congress, where he share how discovering an Asian comic character kickstarted his love of comic books. The two volumes of Boxers & Saints tells parallel stories of a Chinese peasant boy and a young girl adopted by Christian missionaries during the Boxer Rebellion. Make sure you also check out Yang’s American Born ChineseRecommended for ages 12 and up.

Princeless Vol Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley and  M Goodwin

Princeless, Vol. 1: Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin was also recommended by my Twitter friends. When Princess Adrienne turns 16, her parents lock her in a tower guarded by a dragon so a prince save her. Instead of waiting around, Adrienne takes fate into her own hands! There’s quite a few books in the Princeless series, so this should keep your child busy! Recommended for ages 12 and up.

What are some of your favorite diverse graphic novels? Share in the comments!

Free Lunar New Year Printables & Crafts

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Free Lunar New Year Printables via I'm Not the Nanny

Happy Year of the Goat!

Apparently my family pre-partied too  hard before the actual Lunar New Year Day (today) that I have nothing planned this evening. Yikes! But have no fear, the internet is full of awesome free printables for the Chinese New Year.

I scoured internet for coloring pages, crafts, and more for you! Since this is a huge holiday for those who celebrate, don’t worry about being late. The Vietnamese celebrate for 3 days while the Chinese party for 15 days.

Free Lunar New Year Printables


Joyce Wan's Zodiac Printable

Joyce Wan’s Zodiac Printable

I love Joyce Wan’s board books and artwork. She’s created a free printable coloring sheet about the different animals of the Chinese zodiac. It’s the last one on the page. Make sure to check out the other printables on that page!

Send out e-cards from Travel China Guide or print them out to hand them to friends.

Learn about three Chinese New Year traditions and make a lantern (via PBS Parents)

Activity Village has several Year of the Goat printables, including colouring pages, mazes, and other worksheets.

Make an Asian dragon puppet with a plastic Solo cup and simple craft supplies. (via Adopt Vietnam)

No plastic cups on hand? Here’s a super cute Asian dragon craft using only construction paper (via Teach Kids Art)

Make your own lucky red money packet (via Activity Village)




Jaxson and I wanted to teach you how to say Happy New Year (Chúc Mừng Năm Mới) in Vietnamese so we made a little video.

Don’t forget to visit your local library for books. My library had a great display of Lunar New Year book. I grabbed a copy of Ten Mice for Tet! off the display. It’s one of our favorites.

I’ve got more ideas on how to celebrate the year of the goat including books and food.