A radiant tribute to groundbreakers to inspire the next generation.

YES WE WILL

ASIAN AMERICANS WHO SHAPED THIS COUNTRY

A celebration of the achievements of Asian Americans.

Succinct text and the combined talents of diverse artists bring vibrancy and color to the portrayal of Asian American pioneers. A cold, mountainous landscape greets readers as Chinese workers toil on the transcontinental railway. It is explained that many immigrated to America for opportunity, and a small caption reveals that 20,000 workers endured perilous working conditions. Though Asian American immigrants were told “to get out” and that “they couldn’t stay,” the trailblazers on a subsequent list have shown how they have broken barriers and thrived in rebuke. Every illustration is unique in scope and style to match the spotlighted individual. Dan Santat offers dynamic lighting and perspective as basketball player Jeremy Lin goes in for a slam-dunk. Sujean Rim renders abstract portraits with splashes of color for designer Vera Wang and ballet dancer Lia Cirio. Kitkat Pecson gives an eye-popping portrayal of author Jenny Han and activist Amanda Nguyen, while Julia Kuo evokes warmth in an intimate family dinner scene for author, activist, and chef Padma Lakshmi. The list includes individuals of East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian backgrounds in the fields of STEM, art, politics, and advocacy. While brief captions give the name and a quick overview of each subject’s achievements, more detailed biographies are included in the author's note. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A radiant tribute to groundbreakers to inspire the next generation. (Collective biography. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-46305-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments.

SUPERHEROES ARE EVERYWHERE

The junior senator from California introduces family and friends as everyday superheroes.

The endpapers are covered with cascades of, mostly, early childhood snapshots (“This is me contemplating the future”—caregivers of toddlers will recognize that abstracted look). In between, Harris introduces heroes in her life who have shaped her character: her mom and dad, whose superpowers were, respectively, to make her feel special and brave; an older neighbor known for her kindness; grandparents in India and Jamaica who “[stood] up for what’s right” (albeit in unspecified ways); other relatives and a teacher who opened her awareness to a wider world; and finally iconic figures such as Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley who “protected people by using the power of words and ideas” and whose examples inspired her to become a lawyer. “Heroes are…YOU!” she concludes, closing with a bulleted Hero Code and a timeline of her legal and political career that ends with her 2017 swearing-in as senator. In group scenes, some of the figures in the bright, simplistic digital illustrations have Asian features, some are in wheelchairs, nearly all are people of color. Almost all are smiling or grinning. Roe provides everyone identified as a role model with a cape and poses the author, who is seen at different ages wearing an identifying heart pin or decoration, next to each.

Self-serving to be sure but also chock-full of worthy values and sentiments. (Picture book/memoir. 5-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-984837-49-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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