Lot 314 of 364:
1st Asian-theme children’s books illustrated by Asian-American artists  

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Lot closed - unsold
$200 - $300

4 children's books with Asian-American characters, illustrated by Asian-American artists


Various places

Various publishers


  • Bulla, Clyde Robert. Johnny Hong of Chinatown (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company,1952) Original pictorial cloth, in Dust Jacket. Jacket art, pictorial endpapers and text illustrations by Dong Kingman
  • Oakes Vanya. Desert Harvest / A Story of the Japanese in California (Philadelphia: The John C. Winston Company, 1953) Original cloth in pictorial Dust Jacket. Illustrated by Isami Kashiwagi
  • Oakes, Vanya. Roy Sato, New Neighbor (New York, Julian Messner, 1955) Original cloth in pictorial Dust Jacket, illustrated by Isami Kashiwagi.
  • Kelsey, Alice Geer. Tino and the Typhoon (New York: Longmans, Green and Co.1958). Original cloth in pictorial Dust Jacket, illustrated by Isami Kashiwagi.

Possibly the first American children’s books with Asian-American characters, written by caucasians, but illustrated by Asian-Americans - San Francisco Chinese-American artist Dong Kingman and Japanese-American Isami Kashiwagi, a Hawaiian-born Nisei.

The author of two of these, Vanya Oakes, frequently wrote on Asian themes, and featured the work of Asian-American artists like Kingman, Kashiwagi and Disney luminary Tyrus Wong. Her “Desert Harvest” is historical, about a teenaged Issei living in the San Joaquin Valley in the early 1900s, and the only one of the four to deal forthrightly with racial prejudice.  Conversely, her “Roy Sato” lives in the “Little Tokyo” section of Los Angeles, but his story, noted one critic, “deliberately effaced” the racist experience of wartime internment. Simialarly, “Johnny Hong”, the only childrens book illustrated by Kingman, is a Chinatown resident, “but as American as ice cream.” The last book is about a Filipino child, not an American, but still notable as one of the first American children’s books to have a Filipino character.

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Very good.

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