Sunday, March 14, 2021

Reading Month Fun!

I am a bibliophile.  I have a collection of books spanning from the early 1900s to present day.  These books include some signed copies, some first and early editions, and some books that are so worn they live in protective cases.  There are board books for babies and even a handful of books for grown-ups, though the bulk of the collection is for early readers through young adult.

That said, I have two most favorite author/illustrator combos.  And both of them are no longer publishing.  And I have nearly complete collections from both of them.

One of them is Gyo Fujikawa.

I fell in love with her illustrations as a child, and as an adult, I developed a deep respect for her work.

She was one of the pioneers in multicultural children's illustrations.  The first, actually, to include positive images of multicultural children in her books.  While she has many of her own books that she both authored and illustrated, she also illustrated some well-known stories, including Mother Goose and A Child's Garden of Verses.

Today, at least in my more educated world, diversity in books is nothing new.  It's a given.  In the 50s and 60s though, it was almost unheard of.

My personal favorite book of hers is Oh What A Busy Day.  I have the original copy from childhood!  At one point, there was a reprint of it and I purchased more copies than I care to admit and gave them as gifts.  I proudly have a nearly-complete collection of her books, and love sharing them with my nieces when they come over.  

The illustrations drew me in all those years ago, and Ms. Fujikawa's story keeps me coming back all these years later.

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