It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
Illustrator: Julie Morstad
Growing up in California, Gyo Fujikawa always knew that she wanted to be an artist. She was raised among strong women, including her mother and her teachers, who encouraged her to fight for what she believed in. During World War II, Gyo’s family was forced to abandon everything and were taken to an internment camp in Arkansas. Far away from home and from her family, Gyo worked as an illustrator in New York while her innocent family was imprisoned.
Seeing the diversity around her and feeling pangs from her own childhood, Gyo became determined to show all types of children—white, black, Asian, girl, boy, immigrant—in her books for children. There had to be a world where they saw themselves represented. Gyo’s book Babies was initially rejected by her publisher at Grosset & Dunlap. But after Gyo insisted, they finally relented, and Babies went on to sell almost two million copies. Gyo’s books paved the way for publishers, teachers, and readers to see what we can be when we welcome others into our world.
Note from the author and illustrator. Time line of Gyo Fujikawa’s life, with photographs. Full-color illustrations.
JLG Release: Mar 2020
Awards & Honors
Kirkus Best Books - 2019
CPL Best Books - 2019
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Publishers Weekly*, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist*
School Library Journal
11" x 9"
Level 3.9; Points: 0.5;
Scholastic Reading CountsN/A
Potentially Sensitive Areas
Gyo Fujikawa (1908–1998), US illustrators, Women artists, Japanese Americans, Biography, Japanese internment during World War II, Children’s book creators,