Gyo Fujikawa's iconic children's books are beloved all over the world. Now it's time for Gyo's story to be told -- a story of artistic talent that refused to be constrained by rules or expectations.
Growing up quiet and lonely at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gyo learned from her relatives the ways in which both women and Japanese people lacked opportunity. Her teachers and family believed in her and sent her to art school and later Japan, where her talent flourished. But while Gyo's career grew and led her to work for Walt Disney Studios, World War II began, and with it, her family's internment. But Gyo never stopped fighting -- for herself, her vision, her family and her readers -- and later wrote and illustrated the first children's book to feature children of different races interacting together.
This luminous new book beautifully and openly touches on Gyo's difficult experiences and growth. Through Julie Morstad's exquisite illustrations, alternating between striking black-and-white linework and lush colour, and Kyo Maclear's artful and accessible writing, the story of this cherished figure is told at last.
KYO MACLEAR is the critically acclaimed author of many children's books including Bloom and Julia, Child, both illustrated by Julie Morstad, as well as Yak and Dove, which won the 2017 IODE Jean Throop Book Award, The Liszts, The Wish Tree, The Good Little Book, which was shortlisted for a Blue Spruce Award, and Virginia Wolf, which won the 2012 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustrated Book. She is also the Trillium Award--winning author of Birds Art Life. Kyo lives in Toronto with her family.
JULIE MORSTAD is an award-winning illustrator and artist. She has written the children's books Today and How To. Her beautiful illustrations can be found in When Green Becomes Tomatoes; When I Was Small; This is Sadie; Julia, Child; Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova and Bloom. Living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Julie considers Gyo Fujikawa one of her biggest influences.
“A splendid picture-book celebration of an artist and activist.” --STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
“Maclear and Morstad’s biography conveys with quiet power how recently segregation reached into every aspect of American life, and how one woman did her part to defeat it.” --STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
“Maclear and Morstad team up gloriously in this biography. . . . Maclear’s lightness of touch — and Fujikawa’s own style — are beautifully rendered in Morstad’s clean, spacious pages, subtle palette, and restrained, delicate line drawings. Highly recommended.” --Toronto Star
“Maclear and Morstad pack a lot of information into a few pages. This exemplary biography of a pioneer in multicultural children’s books deserves a place in most collections.” --STARRED REVIEW, School Library Journal
“This beautiful biography offers a fitting tribute to an artist with a lasting legacy in American picture books.” --STARRED REVIEW, Booklist