Earth Day is coming up on April 22. While there are many ways to celebrate the occasion, I thought I’d share some resources to make stewardship of our natural resources especially relevant to Asian American and other multicultural families.
Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day
Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written by Nature is a new middle grade book by Aaron Ableman featuring a young girl named Pacha. The story is a call to action to save the planet, set in the Andes Mountains, the homeland of Pacha’s ancestors. The e-book version sounds especially interesting, as it has lots of interactive features animated videos with voices such as Cheech Marin, Mos Def, the Agape Youth Choir and more.
Redwoods by Jason Chin is a picture book, in which a city boy’s ordinary subway ride turns into a journey to the redwood canopy. While it’s not overtly about culture, the main character is clearly an Asian American boy.
The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin is a picture book about a young girl whose mother plants a garden — except there are no flowers or ordinary vegetables. Through the story, she learns to appreciate gardening, and the fruits of their labors.
Visit a National Park
Go outdoors! Visit a local trailhead or head to a national park. For tips in California, check out the blog Go Explore Nature, run by Debi Huang (who is herself a Hapa mama).
People of color have long been underrepresented in visiting National Parks. Asian Americans make up only 3% of parks service visitors. Glenn Nelson, who is mixed-race Japanese American and creator of the website The Trail Posse, wrote Why Are Our Parks So White? in the New York Times last summer.
This week is National Parks Week. For the 100th anniversary of the system, all national parks are free to visit between April 16-24. Also, thanks to the National Parks Foundation, every child in the 4th grade can get a free National Park annual pass throughout the Every Kid in a Park program.
Games and Activities
Closer to home, do some fun activities such as this energy savings Scavenger Hunt for Kids. The Energy Upgrade California site also has more information about conserving in Asian languages — including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese.