Starred Reviews *
* An Indie Next List Pick *
“Playful, bold, and, much like its subject, full of grace.” —Jillian Tamaki, Caldecott Honor winner for This One Summer
“It Began with a Page tells [Gyo Fujikawa's] story beautifully, in picture-book form.” —The New Yorker
From beloved team Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad (creators of Julia, Child and Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli) comes an elegant picture book biography that portrays the most moving moments in the life of Gyo Fujikawa, a groundbreaking Japanese American hero in the fight for racial diversity in picture books.
Equal parts picture book biography, inspiring story, and a look at racial diversity in America, It Began with a Page is a gem for any book lover, librarian, or child who dares to dream big.
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 teachers, who encouraged her to fight for what she believed in. During World War II, Gyo’s family was forced to abandon everything and was taken to an internment camp in Arkansas.
Far away from home, 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 in the pages of her books. There had to be a world where they saw themselves represented.
Gyo’s book Babies was initially rejected by her publisher, but after she 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.
The book includes extensive backmatter, including a note from the creators, a timeline, archival photos, and further information on Gyo Fujikawa.
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2019
A Kirkus Best of 2019 Picture Book
A 2020 ALSC Notable Children's Book
A 2020 Orbis Pictus Recommended Title awarded annually by NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English)
Featured in the 2019 Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators
Age Range: 4 - 8