Illustration depicting Gyo Fujikawa drawing a head

A story that poignantly portrays the life of Gyo Fujikawa, a groundbreaking hero in the fight for racial diversity in picture books.

Gyo Fujikawa’s iconic children’s books are beloved all over the world. Now it’s time for Gyo’s story to be told — a story of artistic talent that refused to be constrained by rules or expectations.

Growing up at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gyo learned from her relatives the ways in which both women and Japanese people lacked opportunity. Her teachers and family believed in her and sent her to art school and later Japan, where her talent flourished. But while Gyo’s career grew and led her to work for Walt Disney Studios, World War II began, and with it, her family’s internment. But Gyo never stopped fighting — for herself, her vision, her family and her readers — and later wrote and illustrated the first children’s book to feature children of different races interacting together.

This new book openly touches on Gyo’s difficult experiences and growth. Through Julie Morstad’s illustrations, alternating between striking black-and-white linework and lush colour, and Kyo Maclear’s writing, the story of this cherished figure is told at last.

Editions:
United States: HarperCollins, 2019
Canada: Tundra Books, 2019

It Began With a Page book cover

To pur­chase It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
by Kyo Maclear, please visit your local inde­pen­dent bookseller.