Ancient China, Japan, and Asia Book List

The fascinating Far East! Read stories about ancient China, Japan, India, Russia, and more!

In Father's Road by Ji-yun Jang, and illustrated by Tan Jun, is about a boy named Wong Chung who has been invited to travel with his merchant father along the Silk Road to Constantinople. Wong Chung learns that this long and arduous journey is filled with many hardships, including thirst and hunger, scathing weather, and dangerous bandits. Wong has a lot to learn from his father and with so many obstacles, will their caravan make it to the glittering city to trade their goods? Includes a brief history of the Silk Road, including the global exchange, the goods different countries traded, the geography of the road, a time line of events, and more!

Riding of a Caravan by Laurie Krebs and Helen Cann, Readers will enjoy this rhyming picturebook that follows a Chinese family and their journey along the Silk Road, the trade route that runs thousands of miles through Asia. Along the way you will experience the sights, smells and sounds of China. Also includes extensive educational endnotes, and vivid photos of the author's travels along the Silk Road. Paperback, 32 pages. Recommended for ages 4 to 10 years old.

When the powerful Lord Takeda's soldiers sweep across the country side, killing and plundering, they spare the boy Taro's life and take him along with them. Taro becomes a servant in the household of the noble Lord Akiyama, where he meets Togan, a cook, who teaches Taro and makes his new life bearable. But when Togan is murdered, Taro's life takes a new direction. He will become a samurai, and redeem the family legacy that has been stolen from him. Recommended for ages 10 to 14, grades 5 to 9.

In the time when the Shogun ruled Japan, two hundred samurai suffered a grave insult--their master met an unjust death. Forty-seven of them are courageous enough to avenge him. Jiro is a lowly servant to one of the brave samurai. Chosen as his master's unlikely spy during the planning of the great revenge, Jiro must learn when to talk and when to listen, or at any moment he could lose his head to a samurai's razor-sharp sword. And even as Jiro plays his small part in the unfolding plot, he searches for the truth about his own identity. Recommended for ages 10 to 14.

This book is one of the best-loved and enduring children's books, both for its spirited and irrepressible hero and for its beautiful evocation of a distant land and way of life. Every child can sympathize with a dawdling duck who wants to avoid a spanking, and share his excitement and wonder as he sails down the river. Ages 3 - 8

With delightfully detailed watercolors, full of whimsical scenes, this wordless picture book explores China, the vast and varied land where calligraphers bestow good fortune, birds fish for men, and dragons dance. Award-winning artist Mitsumasa Anno travels through China and illustrates his discoveries along the way, standing on the Great Wall, visiting bustling villages where the streets are waterways, and flocks of ducks are herded on rivers , and beholding the terracotta army that guards the ancient tomb of China's first emperor. In detailed notes at the back of the book, Anno explain his journey and the scenes he chose to include, drawing out various features that teach the reader about Chinese history and culture. 60 pages, softcover. Ages 6 and up.

Weaving together traditional folkloric stories with Minli's quest to bring her family fortune, this captivating tale will engage readers of all ages and backgrounds. When Minli decides to use one of her two gold coins to buy a goldfish, her mother is not happy--they barely have enough rice to feed themselves, and even the few grains required by the fish are a sacrifice. Minli decides to let the fish go, but before the fish leaves, he tells her how to find the Old Man of the Moon who figures into so many of the stories she hears from her father. She leaves to begin her quest, meeting many new friends and hearing many new stories along the way, as she tries to learn how to change her family's fortune. Full-color illustrations included. 278 pages, hardcover with dust jacket.

Naima is a talented painter of traditional alpana patterns, which Bangladeshi women and girls paint on their houses for special celebrations. But Naima is not satisfied just painting alpana. She wants to help earn money for her family, like her best friend, Saleem, does for his family. When Naima's rash effort to help puts her family deeper in debt, she draws on her resourceful nature and her talents to bravely save the day. Includes a glossary of Bangla words and an author's note about a changing Bangladesh and microfinance.

The Elephant's Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India by award-winning author and illustrator Marcia Williams, is a storybook collection told in graphic novel style, featuring eight of the best-loved Indian folktales from the Hitopadesha, the Jatakas, and the Panchatantra. Kids will enjoy the comic book style illustrations that are filled with humor and warmth. 40 pages, softcover. Ages 6 to 9.

In Little Pear by Eleanor Frances Lattimore, readers will learn of the many adventures of Little Pear, a young boy living in a tiny house with his family in China. Although the story takes place over 100 years ago, he is just like any boy today. Little Pear is a curious boy who is looking for fun, but sometimes he can get a little bit in over his head! Get ready to join him on his many quests, such as stowing away to the fair in a wheelbarrow of vegetables, getting rescued from the flowing river, and nearly flying away on a kite! Paperback, 128 pages. Ages 6-10.

James Rumford, himself a world traveler, has retold Ibn Battuta's story in words and pictures, adding the element of ancient Arab maps - maps as colorful and evocative as a Persian miniature, as intricate and mysterious as a tiled Moroccan wall. Into this arabesque of pictures and maps is woven the story not just of a traveler in a world long gone but a man on his journey through life.

Join Mowgli in the Jungle.
After young Mowgli escapes the vicious jaws of the growling tiger Shere Khan, he is adopted by Father Wolf and grows up with the pack. Lovable old Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the Panther teach Mowgli the Law of the Jungle, and so his extraordinary adventures begin.
Plus a behind-the-scenes journey, including an author profile, a guide to who's who, activities and more.Recommended for ages 8-12.

Among the most popular children's books ever written, The Jungle Book comprises a series of stories about Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungle by a family of wolves after a tiger has attacked and driven off his parents. Threatened throughout much of his young life by the dreaded tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli is protected by his adoptive family and leans the lore of the jungle from Baloo, a sleepy brown bear, and Bagheera, the black panther.

Subtle lessons in justice, loyalty, and tribal law pervade these imaginative tales, recounted by a master storyteller with a special talent for entertaining audience of all ages. Included are such tales as "Rikki-tikki-tavi," a story about a brave mongoose and his battle with the deadly cobra Nag; Mowgli's abduction by the monkey people; and "Toomai of the Elephants," In which a young boy witnesses a secret ritual and is honored by his tribesmen. Recommended for ages 9 to 12.

Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date),comes a dazzling new series: Classic Starts. The stories have been rewritten for younger audiences. Classic Starts treats the world's beloved tales (and children) with the respect they deserve.
One of the most beloved classics in children’s literature, Kipling’s masterpiece follows Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves, and his animal friends as they fight for survival in the Indian jungle. Young readers will love the wise bear Baloo and Bagheera the black panther; shiver at the vicious tiger Shere Khan; laugh at the silly monkeys; and feel compassion for the grown-up Mowgli—who must finally acknowledge his own humanity.

Abridged version.

Spines & References