• by

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.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.