I have read It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way before. However, I had forgotten what a gem Kyo Maclear’s story was. Therefore, it was like finding it all over again. Once reading, I remembered a few things, but new information came to light.
We know Gyo Fujikawa for her babies of all colors. But this was not always the case. She, along with a select few, decided to put diverse characters in their images. Yet, in the 1960s, this did not go over well with the publishers. Still, she pushed, and she won.
But before she was the creator of some of the most loved children’s art and books, she was a young girl who did not live by rules or expectations. One of her teachers helped her to get into art school. Something few women did, let alone Japanese women did in the early 20th century. She would travel all over and would be influenced by her culture, current events and more. She would be one of the first women to work at Disney Studios. She would teach, paint, create children book illustrations before doing her own style, and so much more.
Fujikawa dealt with the times she lived in, seeing racism and prejudice aimed at her and others, but did not let that hold her back. This book is not just a good book for art history, or women’s history or Japanese American history, but also is a book about overcoming the challenges we can face.
Aimed at the at least five and up crowd, this is an everyone book that would be great for an art class or child who likes art.