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Introducing Cathy Lu & 'ABCs for the American Born Chinese'

Artist Cathy Lu, a 20-something American born Chinese, has launched her debut children’s book. She shares this with The Universal Asian, in hopes for more Asian American children to learn the alphabet through fruits, vegetables, and other foods they see their parents cook and on the shelves of Asian supermarkets.

Ambitiously written and illustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lu brainstormed the range of fruits and vegetables to incorporate into the alphabet book. So familiar is the classic American “A is for Apple, B is for Banana.” She set out to create an alphabet book targeted for Asian Americans. She also wanted to focus specifically on fresh produce you would find at Ranch 99 Market. Lu strongly associates fresh-cut fruit such as Asian pears, dragonfruits, and persimmons with her childhood. Although often thought as exotic by Americans, these varieties of fruits were commonplace in her household and she wanted fellow young Asians to find comfort in familiar foods.

After brainstorming, Lu then brought her realistic art style to the digital world through her iPad. She carefully drew each food item in the children’s book, as well as the front and back cover art. The book features 26 foods matching the 26 letters of the alphabet, from A is for Asian Pear and B is for Bok Choy to H is for Hot Pot and Z is for Zongzi.

Lu self-published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and began selling copies through Amazon. So far, “ABCs for the American Born Chinese” has sold over 1,500 copies. Lu has been able to connect with hundreds of excited parents eager to read the innovative alphabet book to their young children, and even non-parents excited to give their friends and family the book as gifts.

You can purchase “ABCs for the American Born Chinese” on Amazon.

You can learn more about her journey and process in writing, illustrating, and self-publishing on Youtube.

Connect with Cathy Lu through these platforms: YouTube Instagram Email:



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