Children's Picture Books

Author Marlene Shigekawa was born in the Poston, Arizona relocation camp. She is the author of two children's picture books about internment camp. "Blue Jay in the Desert" is based on her family's internment experience, and the sequel, "Welcome Home Swallows".

"Blue Jay in the Desert" Fiction Award : Newberry Medal
Author: Marlene Shigekawa. Illustrated by Isao Kikuchi. 1993.
Hardbound: 36 pp. Polychrome Publishing Corporation; 1st edition (May 1993)
# ISBN-10: 1879965046 # ISBN-13: 978-1879965041
Color illustrations.
Ages: 9-12

...This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a young boy’s experience in a WWII American concentration camp, the effect it had on his family, and, most importantly, conveys his grandfather’s message for hope. While a young boy named Junior and his family are interned in Arizona during World War II, Junior receives a gift from his grandfather that instills in him hope and perseverance....

...This is a story about a relationship between a boy and his grandfather. While being interned in Poston, Arizona, the grandfather gives his grandson a very special blue jay that he skillfully carved out of wood...

...A Japanese American boy interned during World War II doesn’t understand what the internment is all about but through his eyes we see how it has affected the adults around him. A picture book introducing the history of the Japanese American internment....

"Showcased by Teaching Tolerance Magazine for today’s America."—The Book Reader.

"Welcome Home Swallows"
By Marlene Shigekawa. Illustrated by Isao Kikuchi.
Hardbound: 32 pp. Heian (September 2001)
# ISBN-10: 0893469343 # ISBN-13: 978-0893469344
Color illustrations.
Ages 9-12.

...In this sequel to "Blue Jay in the Desert", Junior returns home to California after 3 years in Poston, Arizona, a WWII concentration camp. He welcomes home two uncles—-one from the U.S. Army and the other from the Tule Lake "segregation" camp. Explores issues of prejudice, loyalty, and patriotism...

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