April 11, 2021

In 1963, Gyo Fujikawa published her children’s book Babies. It was revolutionary.

The book depicted racially diverse children interacting together—for the first time. The following year the Civil Rights Act was passed and segregation became illegal.

This is the story of the rule breaking Japanese-American picture-book creator, Gyo Fujikawa.

Gyo grew up drawing. Although she felt invisible next to her white classmates, her drawings got the attention of her teachers. She was too poor to go to art school so her teacher paid her way. She was a Japanese-American girl who faced racism.

She never stopped fighting.

During World War II, while Gyo moved from California to New York to illustrate for Walt Disney, Japanese Americans living on the West Coast were forced into internment camps. Her family was forced to leave their home, their school and everything. 

Author Kyo Maclear and illustrator Julie Morstad, powerfully portray the story of Gyo’s life. The pain of her family’s internment, the challenge of being seen as the enemy in her own country, Gyo turned to art to lift up others and create a bigger better world.

A moving biography you won’t want to miss. Gyo Fujikawa’s ground breaking fight for racial diversity in picture books will inspire any budding artist, activist or trailblazer.

The book includes a timeline of Gyo’s life for older readers and a note from the author and illustrator that shares more details and pictures from her life.

Helps with: inclusivity, following your dreams, feeling unseen and unwelcome, learning about WWII Internment Camps and Civil Rights, making new rules, creating change, social justice, and speaking out.