November 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter Index
• Editor's Message • Events • A Follow-up Interview with Parol Festival Founder MC Canlas • Favorite Children’s Books of the Year (From 2021 Newsletter Book Selections) • Featured Books

Editor's Message

Hello Everyone,

I can’t believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone. Hope it went well for you.

This is our last newsletter for the year. As long time readers will know, we only create eleven newsletters each year. This gives us a much needed mini-break and helps us realign our release date to be more towards the beginning of each month again.


This year has been a real challenge for AACP and for me personally.

Once again, we’ve gone through a year with very little face to face contact with the general public. In a normal year, we sometimes go to over 30 conferences and events. In the last two years, we’ve gone to only five. Although these events help us to financially survive as an organization they more importantly serve our primary purpose of exhibiting Asian and Pacific Islander American books and materials to educators and the general public.

With so little direct interaction opportunities, we’ve had to turn to using online methods. We’re still relatively new at this, but I think we’ve made some progress. The biggest advantage is that we’re reaching more people from across the country.

In the coming year, as more events start to happen in the real world, we hope to be seeing you in person again. This will be even more challenging for us as we will need to find more staffing help and more funds for our day-to-day activities as well as virtual work.

We need to decide on whether we can afford to go to three conferences and an out of state event this coming spring within the next few weeks. The exhibit fees, travel expenses, and inventory expenses will probably cost us between five and ten thousand dollars.

At the same time as we’ll be planning and going to these events, we may need help with producing our newsletters and serving people virtually. Staffing is already difficult for many other companies and organizations. For AACP, which has relied on volunteer staffing for over 50 years, we may find it even more difficult to find help.

As shocking events have proven over the course of the past couple years, raising awareness of our place in America and relating the message that we are Americans too becomes even more important to educate and gives us more reason to continue our mission.

If you believe our services to be of value, please help us with a donation and or by volunteering.

Thank you.



For this month’s newsletter articles, we have an interview with MC Canlas who wrote an article for us back in 2009 about the San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival. Now in its 19th year, this festival has become a Christmas tradition. MC will give us an update on the Filipino community in the South of Market area of San Francisco and also about the latest Parol Festival.

For our second article, we’re trying something new. I’ll be highlighting my favorite children’s books from this year’s newsletter book selections. Perhaps if there’s much interest with this article, we may formalize this into an actual book award for next year.

You can help in this process. Read our article and give us your feedback.

If you’re an author, illustrator, publisher, agent, or just a fan of a book, find a way to get us a review copy of the book. The one stipulation is that the book must be available through so that we can direct our readers to the description page and allow them to order the book through that service. If we use the book for one of our newsletter monthly book selections, then it’s automatically in the running for our favorite book of the year. You have from now till the end of October 2022 to get us the book for review purposes.

As for our November 2021 newsletter book selection, we have some books that we think would make great gifts for the holiday season. Have a look.


Thank you to all our staff and volunteers. Thank you to all the people that did interviews with us. Thank you to all of our donors and supporters including Gene Takahashi of Takahashi Market. And most of all, thank you to all of you that we serve and follow us. We do it for you and you make all the hard work worth it.

We wish you all a safe and joyful holiday season, and a much better 2022!

Leonard Chan

Executive Editor

Events and Announcements

Saturday, December 11, 2021, 4-8pm: San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival


Sunday, February 13, 2022, 3:00-4:30pm: We Hereby Refuse: the Bay Area allies (at OACC)

For this Day of Remembrance program, moderator Darren Murata will join with writer Frank Abe in a conversation around We Hereby Refuse with Kathleen Purcell of San Francisco, the daughter of Mitsuye Endo's attorney James Purcell; Wayne Collins Jr., the son of Hiroshi Kashiwagi's attorney Wayne Collins; and Sadako Kashiwagi, Hiroshi's wife.

It will be a hybrid in-person/livestream event hosted by Eastwind Books of Berkeley and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, with a livestream to the OACC’s YouTube channel.


CABS-Minnesota Diverse Voices Fellowship

Application due December 10, 2021

The Diverse Voices Fellowship is for those interested in learning more about the antiquarian, out-of-print, and rare book trade. Fellowship activities include a two-day field school in New York City, as well as a week-long seminar in Minnesota about selling antiquarian/used books.

For more information, go to


If you have an event that you would like us to mention and or to participate in, please feel free to let us know.

A Follow-up Interview with Parol Festival Founder MC Canlas

Interviewed by Leonard Chan

MC Canlas is a community organizer, South of Market Filipino community historian, and author, in addition to being the founder of the annual Parol Lantern Festival in San Francisco.

Parols are traditional Filipino lanterns that are usually made for the Christmas season.

In 2020, because of the pandemic, the Parol Lantern Festival was virtual – with online parol making workshop videos and streamed performances. This year the in-person pre-event parol making workshops are back and so is the culminating December 11th in-person Parol Lantern Festival.

MC did an article for us back in November 2009 about “What We Should Know About Parol.”

MC, please give us an update on the Filipino community in the South of Market (SoMa). From what I’ve read online, the Bayanihan Community Center has been closed since the start of the pandemic and at the writing of this article it is still closed. How has this impacted the community?


Read More

Favorite Children’s Books of the Year

(From 2021 Newsletter Book Selections)

By Leonard Chan

If you were to ask me to pick the best children’s book from our selection, I would have a tough time. There are so many good books that we feature in our newsletters each month and comparing the merits of each book with others is difficult.

Therefore, this article is only a list of books that I found to be most worthy of a second look with some explanation as to why I liked them so much.

Among the 65 children’s books that we’ve featured this year in our newsletters, I was only able to read and review 40 of them. Of these 40, I found all of them to be either good or very good.

Please continue reading to find out more about my top five favorite children’s books from this year’s newsletter featured book selections.


Read More

Featured Books

View full descriptions of all these featured books at where you'll also have the opportunity to purchase them.

Children's Books

Crafts and Activities

General Literature

Other Books of Interest