Shining Star :The Anna May Story by Paula Yoo illus. Lin Wang. Before I saw this book over at Lee and Low I never thought about the first Asian movie star in Hollywood. Though Anna May story is eerily familiar to first African American movie stars. Being forced to take on stereotypical roles that portray her people in a negative light. Being hate by her people for taking on such roles. Having to work with a White actor made up in "yellow face" to look Asian. Moving to Europe for a few years and finding more acceptance there than in the States. Being denied a roll that was intended for an Asian actress (The Good Earth), since actors of color couldn't kiss white costars. I love the action and aww of the first page. Anna May is daydreaming., she is tied to the train tracks and the train is almost upon her. That in itself should pull in any reader. Wang's illustration's are beautiful. Everything from the dresses, to hairstyles and film equipment is true to the times. I don't know what I enjoyed more a young Anna May's love of movies, or Anna May the actress. Anna May had many difficult decision to make in her life. After a visit to China, she refused to accept any more films that showed the Chinese in an unsympathetic light. Yoo and Wang have collaborated to created a wonderful biography about the first Chinese actress that will hold any ones interest. Ages 7up
If you've never done so, check out LeeandLow books, publishers of multicultural children's books. I love their site, its very easy to maneuver. Once you click on a title of interest, there is an extensive synopsis. As well as interest and reading level. They link to any review and comments. Which I love because its means one less search. Also there is almost always an interview with the author about the book.
Also I want to point out another publisher of multicultural children's literature that I learned about over at Color Online just yesterday. Shen Books emphasizes cultural diversity with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.