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|It began with a page : how Gyo Fujikawa drew the way|
Author: Maclear, Kyo
The most moving moments in the life of Gyo Fujikawa, a groundbreaking Japanese-American picture book artist whose work helped start the trend of depicting diversity in children's books.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 505279
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/01/19)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/19)
Booklist (+) (10/15/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/11/19)
The Hornbook (00/11/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2019 K-Gr 4—When Gyo Fujikawa submitted the first book she had written and illustrated, her publishers hesitated. In 1963, a book with black, white, and Asian babies engaged in daily activities was highly unusual. Maclear and Morstad introduce readers to the artist whose quiet insistence led to the publication of the groundbreaking work. Born in California in 1908, Fujikawa was often ignored by white classmates but felt the support of her high school teachers. Her varied career included painting murals, working for Walt Disney Studios, and drawing for magazines. When her West Coast family was sent to an internment camp in 1942, she kept working to help support them. Her commitment to equality and justice helped promote diverse children's books, including more than 50 she created. Many illustrations recall the elegance and simplicity of Fujikawa's own work with plain backgrounds that allow readers to focus on the main subjects: a night scene of her mother burning possessions before the family's forced departure. Tiny figures dwarfed by barracks at the internment camp. A colorful swirling kimono during Fujikawa's 1932 study visit to Japan contrasts with black-and-white drawings of times of sadness. Two pages of photos and chronological highlights follow the main text. VERDICT 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.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2019 *Starred Review* Growing up in a Japanese American family in California, Gyo Fujikawa enjoyed drawing. Each day, “she started with an empty white page . . . and filled it with pictures.” Though lonely at her first school, she found friends after her family moved to an island where many Japanese Americans lived. She studied art in college, traveled to Japan, and worked for Disney Studios in New York before beginning her freelance career as an artist and picture-book illustrator. Disheartened during WWII, when her family was sent to an internment camp, she continued working. Beginning with Babies (1963), her first racially inclusive picture book, she insisted that children shouldn’t be segregated on the page, and she prevailed. An appended note provides information on Fujikawa’s career, her passion for social justice, and her role as a trailblazer. Written and illustrated with clean, spare lines, the book reveals emotions in an understated manner. When her family was interned, the text includes phrases such as “no pictures would come” and “her heart would not mend.” In the artwork, created with liquid watercolor, gouache, and pencil crayons, Morstad uses line, color, and texture with finesse. This beautiful biography offers a fitting tribute to an artist with a lasting legacy in American picture books. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.