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A Boy Named Isamu

2021

by James Yang

"With stunning artwork and heart-singing text, the 2020 winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award brings to life the imagination of Isamu Noguchi. Winner of the Theordor Seuss Geisel Award in 2020 for Stop! Bot!, James Yang imagines a day in the boyhood of Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi. Wandering through an outdoor market, through the forest, and then by the ocean, Isamu sees things through the eyes of a young artist…but also in a way that many children will relate. Stones look like birds. And birds look like stones. Through colorful artwork and exquisite text, Yang translates the essence of Noguchi so that we can all begin to see as an artist sees." -- publisher

Any Child

Chirri & Chirra, The Rainy Day

2021

by David Boyd and Kaya Doi

"One cloudy day, Chirri & Chirra decide to go out on their bicycles. Dring-dring, dring dring! It's already starting to rain. Dring-dring! With the distinctive sound of their bicycle bells, Chirri and Chirra are off on another whimsical adventure. In this new installment of the beloved series, the twins brave a rainy day together...after all, stormy weather is no match for their boundless energy and curiosity. The pair happens upon a cafe that is only open on rainy days, and they sip tea with a side of sweet rock candy as they watch the droplets fall. They continue their journey, only to discover that the rain is now falling upside-down, their bicycles suspended on the droplets as they ride along. For these winsome twins, the world is a haven of endless discovery, of wonderful oddities, of adventure and excitement without danger. Kaya Doi's illustrations, rendered in glowing colored pencil, are warm and inviting for readers, ushering them into the pages like a safe haven from the rain outside.One cloudy day, Chirri & Chirra decide to go out on their bicycles. Dring-dring, dring dring! It's already starting to rain. As is each of their adventures, this one is completely magical and full of wonder. It is also set in a world where, as if by magic (though perhaps it's the force of the creative imagination?), they always find what they need. Pedaling along, they discover a shop. What luck! The sign says it's only open on rainy days. How perfect. Chirri & Chirra order tea. Each is served tea with a bowl of sweet ice rocks. It's a shop for watching the rain while drinking tea! Later, when they feel as if they're floating, they discover that the rain is falling up, from below. They are sailing along on nothing less than upside down rain. And what do they discover in the upside-down rain? A happy scene, of course. Because their world is one of harmony, peace, lightness, and discovery. It is a vision of what life on earth––if we gave love and respect to all humans, animals, and the natural world––might be." -- publisher

Any Child

Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites

2021

by Debbi Michiko Florence, Jamie Michalak and Yuko Jones

"Won at auction, this picture book biography tells the story of Niki Nakayama, a powerhouse female Japanese-American chef, and her rise to fame. As a child and adult, Niki faced many naysayers in her pursuit of haute cuisine. Using the structure of a traditional kaiseki meal, the authors playfully detail Niki's hunger for success in thirteen "bites" — from wonton wrappers she used to make pizza as a kid to yuzu-tomatillo sauce in her own upscale Los Angeles Michelin-starred restaurant, n/naka. To anyone who tells her a woman can't be a master chef, Niki lets her food do the talking. And oh, does it talk. Niki was featured on the first season of Netflix's culinary documentary series Chef's Table. And Chrissy Teigen proclaimed that Niki's restaurant is one of her absolute favorites. A smart, strong woman with starpower, Niki is only just getting started -- like the young readers who will devour this book!" -- publisher

Biography

See Where We Come From!

2021

by Scot Ritchie

"A perfect, kid-friendly introduction to family heritage.Today is a big day for the five friends. Their class is hosting a Heritage Festival to celebrate the customs and traditions of people from all over the world. Martin, Sally, Pedro, Nick and Yulee each have their own heritage, and they have so much to share! They learn about various traditions involving music, food, language, stories, crafts, clothing and games. They also learn that exploring their different heritages makes everyone feel like they belong!There's a world of fun to be had, as readers discover the many ways people are alike and what makes each of us unique!"

Cross Group Race/Culture Concepts

The Big Bath House

2021

by Kyo Maclear and Gracey Zhang

"A joyful celebration of Japanese cultural traditions and body positivity as a young girl visits a bath house with her grandmother and aunties. In this celebration of Japanese culture and family and naked bodies of all shapes and sizes, join a little girl—along with her aunties and grandmother—at a traditional bath house. Once there, the rituals leading up to the baths begin: hair washing, back scrubbing, and, finally, the wood barrel drumroll. Until, at last, it’s time, and they ease their bodies—their creased bodies, newly sprouting bodies, saggy, jiggly bodies—into the bath. Ahhhhhh! With a lyrical text and gorgeous illustrations, this picture book is based on Kyo Maclear’s loving memories of childhood visits to Japan, and is an ode to the ties that bind generations of women together." --publisher

Beautiful Life

Words To Make A Friend

2021

by Donna Jo Napoli and Naoko Stoop

"A clever and innovative bilingual English/Japanese picture book about a Japanese girl and an American girl who prove you don’t need to speak the same language to understand each other. When a young Japanese girl moves into her new house, she is happy to see a girl her age playing in the snow just outside her window. The only problem is the Japanese girl doesn’t speak English and the American girl doesn’t speak Japanese. How will these two girls have any fun at all? As it turns out, it’s not that hard when both girls are looking for a friend! What starts with a simple “hello” and “konnichiwa” becomes a day filled with fun in the snow. Each girl’s love of play, snow, and making a new friend transcends the need to speak the same language, and by using simple words in their own languages, along with a bit of charades, the girls find they have all they need to build a snow creature. An important book to show children that speaking the same language isn’t a prerequisite to making a new friend." -- publisher

Cross Group

How to Solve a Problem

2020

by Ashima Shiraishi and Yao Xiao

"From Ashima Shiraishi, one of the world’s youngest and most skilled climbers, comes a true story of strength and perseverance—in rock climbing and in life. To a rock climber, a boulder is called a “problem,” and you solve it by climbing to the top. There are twists and turns, falls and scrapes, and obstacles that seem insurmountable until you learn to see the possibilities within them. And then there is the moment of triumph, when there’s nothing above you but sky and nothing below but a goal achieved. Ashima Shiraishi draws on her experience as a world-class climber in this story that challenges readers to tackle the problems in their own lives and rise to greater heights than they would have ever thought possible." -- publisher

Biography

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