How bilingual author Christina Wu is raising the next generation of Taiwanese Americans

“Raising the Next Generation” aims to feature and connect stories of Taiwanese American parenthood, caretaking, and community-building across generations. We want to hear from our community on the unique challenges they navigate, the resources and tools they can share with each other, and the triumphs they want to celebrate with us all.

We want to showcase and serve how Taiwanese American families are increasingly complex and diverse. They may include transcontinental relationships, intercultural and interracial or blended families, and more. We also know that second and third-generation Taiwanese American parents are navigating questions of identity, heritage, and belonging in a way their parents didn’t; or, with space and distance, they are looking for a way to meaningfully reconnect with their Taiwanese heritage and render it accessible and apparent to their own children.
We also want to highlight the many resources created by and for our community, including multilingual children’s books, online language classes, and parenting groups. We hope this space can be one of solidarity, support, and seeing you for who you are and what you need to flourish.
We’re pleased to begin this series with bilingual picture book author Christina Wu.

Q: Hi Christina! Thanks for being a part of this series. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, I’m Christina C. Wu 張玉蒓, author of 【AhMa Loves You! 阿媽愛你!】, a bilingual English and Traditional Chinese kids’ early chapter book with Zhuyin fuhao. I’m an ABT- American-born Taiwanese and second-generation Taiwanese American. My husband, two kids, and I currently live in the San Gabriel Valley of California.
Q: What excited you most about becoming a parent? 
When I was expecting my first child, I dreamed about expanding his culinary tastes to Taiwanese food. Unfortunately, both of my children have multiple food allergies so they are not able to eat many of the typical Taiwanese foods. We are learning to manage our food allergies, to appreciate the foods we can eat and modify some traditional recipes. I’m grateful my son had the opportunity to go to Taiwan when he was a toddler and explored– his AhGong 阿公 and AhMa 阿媽–my parents’ home country with them.
Q: What’s something that has been challenging for you in the last year? 
I have two elementary school age children that I homeschool so it’s been challenging to navigate the different hats I wear as their mother and educator while pursuing my passions of telling stories, fostering cross-cultural awareness, and building up families. It has been both encouraging and inspiring meeting creative mothers who have been successful in their artistic journeys while raising children to be bilingual / multilingual and multicultural.
Q: What does it mean (for you) to be raising Taiwanese American children?
To be Taiwanese American is to appreciate your identity, culture, and people. I’d like my children to know it is important to learn and appreciate not only their own culture, but other cultures. The more you learn, appreciate, and understand your own and other cultures; the more you understand yourself and how to best interact with different people. We share both similarities and differences with varying cultures and there is value in each person.
Q: How would you describe your Taiwanese American upbringing? 

I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) of California, and was blessed to have spent summers in Taiwan visiting my grandparents. The Taiwanese community of SGV was flourishing in the 1980s and ‘90s. We had the unique privilege of being exposed to delicious Taiwanese food, having access to Chinese pop music, and being immersed in the language and culture of Taiwanese (American) people. I bought Jacky Cheung 張學友or A-Mei 張惠妹 CDs from Chinese bookstores. It’s through Chinese pop songs that I learned a lot of my Mandarin Chinese. When I visited Taiwan, I noticed the other diners at restaurants and food stalls who would sharpen their disposable wooden chopsticks to remove the splinters were also Taiwanese Americans. It was an idiosyncrasy that I would use to distinguish Taiwanese Americans but now I think the local Taiwanese do this, too. This is just a small example of how we all influence one another as our global connections increase.

Now here in SGV, when I hear elders talking in Taiwanese, whether in church or the supermarket, I just want to be near them and absorb the language and their essence. It takes me across space and back in time to Taiwan with my late beloved grandparents. Taiwanese is my first language and it reminds me of home.

Q: What resources, if any, have you found helpful for navigating Taiwanese American or Asian American parenthood? 

As I was dreaming about writing my first bilingual children’s book, I found Katrina Liu– author of many children’s books including I Love Boba. She coached me and provided me with invaluable resources in the children book industry. I started meeting wonderful moms who are creating resources for children to learn Chinese and raise them to be global citizens who are kind and respectful.

Here’s the info for Katrina Liu and other creative Taiwanese American moms who I recommend following:

Katrina Liu (IG: @minalearnschinese) is a children’s book author who wrote many bilingual kids books and is a book coach. She coached me and now I’m a published author of a bilingual English/Traditional Chinese with Zhuyin kids’ easy chapter book! Her website is

Jeanne (IG: @mamababymandarin) and Sunny (IG: @spotofsunshinechinese) are both Taiwanese American creative moms who offer great content for raising bilingual, multicultural children.

Mr. and Mrs. Books (IG: @mandmbooks) curates Chinese children’s books many with Zhuyin in a subscription delivered directly to your home. Their website is

Music & Tales (IG: @musicandtales) creates multilingual resources for families, teachers and therapists. The founder, who is a music therapist, Isabelle Engler, and I held a book event (hosted by @talkinganimalsbooks) where we shared bilingual stories and music. It was wonderful to be with Isabelle who has a like-minded mission to empower families through music and stories.

Q: What are you looking for in a Taiwanese American parenting or family community?

It would be great to have in-person events with other Taiwanese American across generations young and old. I’d love to gather in a place where we can all practice speaking in Mandarin Chinese or Taiwanese, and discuss our cultural similarities and differences without any judgment. I long for a community that appreciates our own culture but also seeks understanding across cultures and generations. Events can be centered around stories or music, or playing fun games or activities. Of course, delicious Taiwanese food and boba has to be in the picture!

Q: How can our community connect with you?

Through Taosheng (IG: @taosheng_book), I’m a published author of a bilingual English and Traditional Chinese kids’ early chapter book entitled 【AhMa Loves You! 阿媽愛你!】. The Chinese comes with Zhuyin fuhao. I’ve never found a bilingual chapter book that contains the phonetic Zhuyin or Pinyin, so I decided to create one. I wanted to share a story about how multigenerational love can be expressed differently in each person. My book contains heartfelt full page and spot illustrations by the talented Eunice Chen (IG: @eunicesketches).

To find and order your copy of 【AhMa Loves You! 阿媽愛你!】visit Christina’s website of stockists:

Please connect with me!
Christina C. Wu 張玉蒓
IG: @empressxtina3
Facebook page: Christina C. Wu

If you would like to be featured in the “Raising the Next Generation” series, please email with subject “Next Gen Parenting.”

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