About the Book:
Title: I Am Able to Shine
Author: Korey Watari
Illustrator: Mike Wu
Pub. Date: May 1, 2022
Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for I Am Able to Shine published by Two Lions/Amazon Publishing. Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Keiko has one wish-to change the world and shine. She is enthusiastic and passionate about making a difference. While there are times she feels invisible, Keiko does not wallow in her sorrows. She persists to be noticed. From Watari’s uplifting text and Wu’s rich illustrations, readers see that Keiko’s endurance is fueled by her family who love and support her. She exudes strength eating sushi at lunch, starting an origami club. and teaching traditional Japanese dance with her ballet class. I love this illustration showing Keiko’s confidence being the leader.
Once Keiko finds a force inside her, she is invincible. This illustration moves me because Keiko sees herself in the future recognizing that she can do anything she sets her mind to.
With Watari’s affirming text and Wu’s expressive illustrations, I Am Able to Shine is a story that teaches kids to embrace their identity. Back matter includes an author’s note sharing the inspiration for the story as well as a glossary of Japanese terms. After reading it aloud to kindergarten students, they had these thoughts about what they learned from Keiko.
- Be kind and helpful.
- Stand up for others and yourself.
- Share what you like to do with your friends.
About the Author & Illustrator:
Husband-and-wife team Korey Watari and Mike Wu live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California with their two lively daughters. This is their first picture book together. Korey is a sansei, or third generation Japanese American, born and raised in Los Angeles. She played basketball for a Japanese American League, graduated from the University of California Riverside, and studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Korey has worked in the animation and fashion industries for companies such as Disney and the Gap. This is her first picture book. Learn more at www.koreywatari.com or on Twitter at @tinyteru.Mike is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed, bestselling Ellie series, the first picture book of which was named one of NPR’s best books of the year. He is also a Pixar artist and has worked on films including The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story 3, Coco, and Soul. His illustrations have been hailed as “reminiscent of classics like Harry the Dirty Dog and Curious George.” Visit him at www.theartofmikewu.com or on Instagram at @wudog23.