My colleague Laura Simeon helped kick off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a roundup of recent middle-grade titles that celebrate the richness and diversity of the Asian diaspora in the U.S. Now I’d like to pick up the baton to highlight some great recent picture books that do the same.

In Amira’s Picture Day (Holiday House, April 13) Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim capture the storm of feelings the title character experiences when Eid and school picture day coincide. Of course, she’s looking forward to going to the masjid and celebrating the holy day in community—but she also doesn’t want to miss out on being in the class picture. With exquisite empathy, both art and text honor this South Asian Muslim girl’s conundrum, and readers will cheer to see her solution.

Huy Voun Lee draws on her own childhood experience as a refugee immigrant from Cambodia in Like a Dandelion (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, May 18). Delicate, emotive illustrations introduce readers to the unnamed narrator as the child and adult caregiver leave a refugee camp to board an airplane. Drawing on the titular simile, the child describes putting down roots in winter, blossoming in springtime with new friends, and welcoming new seeds—a newly arrived immigrant child in a hijab and their older sibling—in fall.

A child uprooted from life in Korea forms an unlikely bond in My Tree, by Hope Lim and Il Sung Na (Neal Porter/Holiday House, May 4). Recalling a tree left behind, this backyard presence becomes both a physical refuge and a means to connect with the life the narrator misses dearly. Na’s use of perspective and space both emphasizes the role the tree plays in the child’s adjustment and extends Lim’s tender metaphor for the immigrant experience.

In Hair Twins (Little, Brown, May 4), Raakhee Mirchandani and Holly Hatam present an Indian American father and daughter who both wear their hair long, according to Sikh tradition. This opens the door to a loving, mutual hair-care ritual in which Papa oils, combs, and styles his daughter’s hair; in return, she will hand him an elastic when he needs it and sometimes even pick out the color of his turban. It’s clearly a source of joy for both.

Every year, summer really begins When Lola Visits (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, May 18). The unnamed narrator of Michelle Sterling and Aaron Asis’ tale of an intergenerational and international bond describes the smell of the foods Lola prepares when she comes from the Philippines—mango jam, sisig, kalamansi pie—mingling with chlorine, a newly opened can of tennis balls, sunscreen. It’s a heady, evocative mix.

Mượn Thị Văn’s spare, lyrical string of Wishes (Orchard/Scholastic, May 4), expressed by the night, a bag, the sea, and more—even a dream—becomes the textual scaffolding for Victo Ngai’s powerful illustrations describing the flight of a Vietnamese family from their home to a new life across the ocean. It is hard, and it is scary, and it is inexpressibly sad, but this family has one another, and that’ll have to be enough. It is.

Finally, Andrea Wang and Jason Chin’s Watercress (Neal Porter/Holiday House, March 30) offers both narrator and readers a powerful insight when Mom and Dad pull the car over by the side of the road to gather watercress. It’s a scene that the narrator finds intensely humiliating until Mom shares a painful memory of her own childhood in China, a story that transforms the weed into a sacrament. Wang’s verse is as luminous as Chin’s watercolors.

These only begin to touch the robust diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage—but they are a good start.

Vicky Smith is a young readers’ editor.