When Max was born, my mother gave us a couple of books for him. One of those books was called, Let’s Play! by Gyo Fujikawa (pronounced “ghee-o”). Gyo was an American illustrator and children’s book author. She created over 45 children’s books and her work is still regularly in print. Her books have sold millions of copies and have been published in 17 languages and in more than 22 countries.
Her illustrations are so different from what you see in books today, she has a unique style that grasps a classic vintage feel. The books are not too verbose but rather short and sweet. She had often expressed trying to enhance a child’s imagination with her illustrations which she was very successful at doing as you will see when you read one of her books to your child. She was one of the first illustrators to include children of different races in her work. I intend to collect more of her books and to replace the ones that have been destroyed by relentless tugging and pulling sticky fingers.
Miss Fujikawa passed away in 1998 in New York, never having any children of her own or having been married (although she was engaged at age 19). She was born in California to Japanese parents. She had a very successful career and did branch out to design six United States postage stamps, also working with Walt Disney Studios, Beech-Nut baby food and Eskimo Pie, creating the round-faced child icon for the ice cream treat.
You can find her books here.