Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 17, 2023

Book Giveaway: A IS FOR ASIAN AMERICAN: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Alphabet by Virginia Loh-Hagan

Virginia Loh-Hagan has written a new picture book, A IS FOR ASIAN AMERICAN, illustrated by Tracy Bishop and publish by Sleeping Bear Press. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Debbie and Jen.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


The fabric of America is made up of countless threads weaving together different backgrounds and cultures. Using poetry and expository text, A is for Asian American: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Alphabet celebrates the cultures of and contributions from Asian Americans throughout our country’s history. Letter topics include traditions in food, family, and social celebrations, as well as key moments in history and milestone achievements. A is for Asian American illuminates the amazing and ongoing role the Asian American community has played in the shaping of America. Front and back matter provides additional information, including a glossary.


Happy year of the rabbit! The Chinese New Year starts on January 22, 2023. In the Chinese culture, this is a time to celebrate new beginnings and to prepare for a lucky new year.

Although I am optimistic about a lucky 2023, I was also blessed with a lucky 2022. My latest book came out in August 2022. It’s called A is for Asian American: An Asian Pacific Islander Desi American. It’s my second alphabet book from Sleeping Bear Press – my first alphabet book was T is for Thor: A Norse Mythology Book. It’s also my fourth picture book from Sleeping Bear Press. My other books are Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America, Popo’s Lucky Chinese New Year, and Nian: The Chinese New Year Dragon. Clearly, I love writing about Asian American topics and I love Sleeping Bear Press!

In addition, I have written many titles for Cherry Lake Publishing and 45th Parallel Press. For the My Itty-Bitty Bios series, I have written about many Asian American and Pacific Islander heroes such as Patsy Mink, Queen Lili’uokalani, Larry Itliong, Sunisa Lee, Fred Korematsu, Bruce Lee, Kalpani Chawla, and more. I also wrote a series on AAPI Excellence and Achievement and another series on AAPI Histories.

Furthermore, as the inaugural Director of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Center at San Diego State University (SDSU) and the Co-Executive Director of The Asian American Education Project, I am committed to amplifying the histories and narratives of the APIDA community in K-12 and higher education. I have written tons of curriculum and hosted tons of programs – all centered on APIDA topics.

What’s this have to do with A is for Asian American? Well, I essentially wanted to create a book that would compile all the fun bits of information that I had picked up along the way. I had all this information and it needed to go somewhere. And of course, my fabulous editor, Barb, was on board!

It’s also important to mention the timing. When I started writing the book, the world changed. The COVID-19 pandemic affected the world in so many different ways – the effects of which we are still feeling today. One of the effects is escalating anti-Asian hate. A book like A is for Asian American, now more than ever, is essential reading. The more young people (and their parents and teachers who will read the book with them) know about the APIDA community, the safer we will be. Together, we can be better. (I truly believe that.)

The other timing piece is that while I was writing this book, I was offered the opportunity to launch the APIDA Center at SDSU; as such, I dedicated A is for Asian American to the students, faculty, staff, and community members who supported me and the APIDA Center. The APIDA Center is a testament to the power of being seen and heard – I hope that my book, A is for Asian American, helps young APIDA readers feel seen and heard. I also hope that it helps non-APIDA readers to see and hear.

The hardest part of writing a book is having to decide what goes into it. A is for Asian American gives readers at least 26 fun facts from A to Z, but I have so much more content that I want to share. There’s so much content and only so many pages in a book so stay tuned, I’m not done writing yet….


Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan is an author, university faculty member, and former K-8 teacher. She’s currently the Director of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Center at San Diego State University. She writes books about things that geek her out. She especially likes to write about her Chinese-American heritage. After all, she was born on Flag Day in the Year of the Dragon. She’s also interested in writing fun facts about monsters, weird bodily noises, urban legends, hot dogs, and anything on the odd side. She has over 300 books out in the world! She lives in northern San Diego with two non-trained naughty dogs and one semi-well-trained husband.


The Jade Dragon (Candlewick Press, 2008)

Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America (Sleeping Bear Press, 2013)

PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year (Sleeping Bear Press, 2016)

Nian: The Chinese New Year Dragon (Sleeping Bear Press, 2019)

T is for Thor: A Norse Mythology Alphabet Book (Sleeping Bear Press, 2020)


Virginia, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. This is a nice introduction to Asian-American culture. I love how this book will help broaden awareness of the many contributions by Asian Americans to the children who read it. The illustrations Tracy created for the book are perfect. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Hi, Kathy! I follow your blog and receive the daily updates. Thanks for sharing about this book! My kiddos are half-Filipino and it sounds like something they would love to look at/read. ☺️


  2. This book sings to my inner self. I love the journey, and the representation in Alphabet books of well, everything! Thank you so much for writing this book, for illustrating this book so beautifully, for featuring this book. Beautiful!


  3. Virginia writes delightful books! Would love to have this one!


  4. What a beautiful book, and I love that it’s structured around the alphabet! Just right. Congratulations, Virginia and Tracy. Gorgeous!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post, Kathy. Thanks!


  5. I will enjoy learning more about Asian culture while studying this book as mentor text–the rhyming and rhythm are perfect. I’m an email subscriber and can’t wait to read this gorgeous book. I shared on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and tumblr.


  6. This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Congrats to both the author and illustrator!! It looks fantastic!


  7. So excited to have stumbled upon your blog and this wonderful post! Beautiful book! Can’t wait to read more!


  8. I love this alphabet series from Sleeping Bear Press. This looks like a wonderful addition to the series. Thanks for the post. I subscribe to your blog by email.


  9. Congratulations. Good luck with your growing career. Will post on FB & Twitter. Paying it forward for when my book is published.


  10. Lovely!


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