PAPER SON, The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

Paper Son is a gorgeous, new biographical picture book written by Julie Leung and illustrated by Chris Sasaki about the life of unsung Chinese American artist Tyrus Wong. The story follows Tyrus from his immigration to the United States during the Chinese Exclusion Act, through his childhood, to art school, and to his first creative job at Walt Disney Studios. While there, he painstakingly created the background style featured in Bambi… to be credited only as a background artist and then later be fired during an employee strike– in which he did not even participate. In spite of this setback, Tyrus never stopped doing what he loved–painting and creating. This is a must-read story about the contributions of immigrants to our society, as well as courage, perseverance, creativity and finding your passion even when facing adversity and discrimination.

photo credit from Twitter @jleungbooks

Teachers could use this book:

  • to launch a unit on immigration
  • to spark a discussion about immigration laws and their impact on families
  • as part of text set about perseverance
  • within a biography unit
  • during an art lesson
  • to show how an author’s and/or illustrator’s note enhances a story
  • as a read aloud for the pure and simple reason that we need to share books we love and that touch our hearts with our students
Books with Kids

Leave a Reply