Award-winning author/artist Belle Yang has skillfully drawn on family history and anecdotes to write and illustrate highly praised books for children, including Hannah Is My Name (2004), selected as a National Council for the Social Studies Notable Book for Young People, and Always Come Home to Me (2007), winner of the 2008 Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award.
This 6-minute cut of a documentary called “My Name is Belle” (the story behind Hannah is My Name), reveals Yang’s story of emigrating from Taiwan to the United States with her parents, in 1967 (after spending some years in Japan), where she adopted an American name, a new language, and had to adjust to a new culture.
Foo, The Flying Frog of Washtub Pond, a fable crafted from an Asian folktale and a real occurrence in her life, is her most recent picture book. She just completed the manuscript for Forget Sorrow: A China Elegy, a graphic novel to be published in 2010 by W. W. Norton. Forget Sorrow will be the third book in her wonderfully illustrated non-fiction trilogy, which includes Baba: A Return to China Upon My Father’s Shoulders and The Odyssey of a Manchurian. Whether aimed at children, teens or adults, Yang’s stories always succeed in their exploration of Chinese culture, the plight of immigrants in America and the complexity of relationships within families.