Paper Son : The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist
by Leung, Julie; Sasaki, Chris (ILT)






Presents the life of the immigrant Chinese American artist who was an early employee at the Disney Studio and went on to become an important artist who worked in different mediums.





JULIE LEUNG is the author of the Mice of the Round Table series, including A Tail of Camelot, Voyage to Avalon, and most recently, Merlin's Last Quest. This is her first picture book. In her free time, she enjoys furtively sniffing books at bookstores and winning obscure board games. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in New York City, where she works as a marketing director at Del Rey Books. Visit her on the web at jleungbooks.com and follow her on Twitter at @jleungbooks.

CHRIS SASAKI is a former character designer and illustrator for Pixar Animation Studios, where he has designed characters for Monsters University and Inside Out. His work has been featured at Gallery Nucleus, on Cartoon Brew, in the New York Times, and in the Society of Illustrators annual. He lives in Oakland, California. Visit him on the web at csasaki.com.





*Starred Review* When he was nine years old, Tyrus Wong became a "Paper Son," using a false name and pretending to be another boy in order to immigrate with his father to the U.S., or "Gold Mountain." After months alone on Angel Island being questioned by immigration authorities, Wong was finally reunited with his dad, taking up a tough life as the new kid in a place where he didn't know the language. He went on to art school while working nights as a janitor and eventually became the art director of Disney's Bambi, though he never received the credit he deserved. Leung's reverent, poetic prose captures the subject's lifelong love of art and his perseverance through adversity. Sasaki's lush renderings are reminiscent of the animator's iconic style, heavily influenced by his Chinese heritage. Young readers and aspiring artists will pore over the stunning digital art, which presents an ink-and-watercolor style. The entire collaboration highlights the many contributions immigrants have made to our country and its culture, making this a lovely work for all shelves, displays centering artists, units on immigration, or showcases during Asian American History Month. Notes from author and artist, in addition to photos of Wong and his family, add further context and value to this gorgeous picture-book biography about an unsung hero of animation and Chinese American history. Grades 1-3. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* When he was nine years old, Tyrus Wong became a "Paper Son," using a false name and pretending to be another boy in order to immigrate with his father to the U.S., or "Gold Mountain." After months alone on Angel Island being questioned by immigration authorities, Wong was finally reunited with his dad, taking up a tough life as the new kid in a place where he didn't know the language. He went on to art school while working nights as a janitor and eventually became the art director of Disney's Bambi, though he never received the credit he deserved. Leung's reverent, poetic prose captures the subject's lifelong love of art and his perseverance through adversity. Sasaki's lush renderings are reminiscent of the animator's iconic style, heavily influenced by his Chinese heritage. Young readers and aspiring artists will pore over the stunning digital art, which presents an ink-and-watercolor style. The entire collaboration highlights the many contributions immigrants have made to our country and its culture, making this a lovely work for all shelves, displays centering artists, units on immigration, or showcases during Asian American History Month. Notes from author and artist, in addition to photos of Wong and his family, add further context and value to this gorgeous picture-book biography about an unsung hero of animation and Chinese American history. Grades 1-3. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





As the boat sailed from China to America, Wong memorized the minutiae of another boy's life. In 1919, the Chinese Exclusion Act allowed only high-status immigrants into the U.S. So 9-year-old Wong became a "paper son," taking on the identity of a merchant's son. Luckily, Wong passed the grueling immigration interview. After art school, bored by the tedium of "in-betweener" work at Disney Studios, Wong saw his chance to prove himself when Walt Disney announced his next movie, Bambi. Drawing on Felix Salten's novel, his own personal experiences, and his training in both Eastern and Western artistic styles, Wong created lush, impressionistic landscapes inspiring the look of the entire movie. Unfortunately, Wong's work was largely unrecognized; however, he never stopped making art, exploring many media. Digital illustrations emphasize precise details and shape repetition, creating a geometric counterpoint to organic washes of color and loose, impressionistic backgrounds inspired by Wong's work on Bambi. The brief narrative moves swiftly, lingering on just two key moments : Wong's immigration and the making of Bambi. The author's note provides more information about the Chinese Exclusion Act, the proliferation of paper sons and daughters, and additional details about and photos of Wong. Unfortunately, neither text nor backmatter share contextual information about the reasons for immigration, benefits and sacrifices of immigration, or the racial prejudice Wong faced both personally and professionally. A visually engaging introduction to a little-known yet influential American artist (Picture book/biography. 7-12) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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