On the Tip of a Wave: How Ai Weiwei's Art Is Changing the Tide

By Joanna Ho
Illustrators Illustrated by Cátia Chien Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher Scholastic Imprint Orchard Books ISBN


On the Tip of a Wave: How Ai Weiwei's Art Is Changing the Tide

In stock


Social Issue: Harsh Realities of Life

From New York Times bestselling author of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, Joanna Ho, and critically acclaimed illustrator, Cátia Chien comes a moving, powerful picture book about the life and work of activist and artist, Ai Weiwei.

He [Ai Weiwei] felt the life jackets and an idea curled and crested through his fingertips. The way it always did.

Told in Joanna Ho’s signature lyrical writing, this is the story that shines a light on Ai Weiwei and his journey, specifically how the Life Jackets exhibit at Konzerthaus Berlin came to be. As conditions for refugees worsened, Ai Weiwei was inspired by the discarded life jackets on the shores of Lesbos to create a bold installation that would grab the attention of the world. Cátia Chien masterfully portrays the intricate life of Ai Weiwei with inspirations from woodblock printing and a special emphasis on the color orange, the same color of the life jackets that became a beacon of hope. Through Cátia’s dynamic and stunning illustrations, we see how Ai Weiwei became the activist and artist he is today while proving the power of art within humanity.

About Ai Weiwei. Full-color photographs.
Full-color illustrations created using pencils, pastels, and
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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3-Ai Weiwei is an artist born in China during the late 1950s, when government officials were trying to rid the country of academic individuals who didn't approve of the way they ran the country. Left with his family to live in a labor camp, Weiwei learned to survive by drawing and sculpting on the dirt walls of the hole his family inhabited in the desert. In his 20s, Weiwei was able to move to the United States to study art, only returning to China to be with his ailing father. Noticing a stark difference between China and the U.S. surprised Weiwei. He began creating art that spoke about humanity, namely refugees. Illustrated in pencil, pastels, and the use of digital, this book boasts the orange, blue, and white of the life vests worn by the refugees as they traveled by sea to seek solace in a new land where very few were welcomed. Back matter explains in detail about Weiwei's life and work. Inspiration is sprinkled throughout as the illustrator weaves examples of Weiwei's work on every page. "Establishing the understanding that we all belong to one humanity is the most essential step for how we might continue to coexist on the sphere we call Earth." VERDICT An outstanding biography of an important artist whose work challenges us to change the way we look at other human beings. This will guide deep discussions on borders and the plight of so many people around the world.-Tracy Cronceα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Arts Elementary Plus (Grades 2-6)

Arts Elementary Plus

Arts Elementary Plus (Grades 2-6)

For Grades 2-6
Draw! Dance! Sing! The 14 books in this category celebrate creativity and will foster a love of the arts among elementary schoolers.

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Biographies, Diversity, Nonfiction, Science/STEAM

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