A Boy Named Isamu

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With stunning artwork and heart-singing text, the 2020 winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award brings to life the imagination of Isamu Noguchi.

If you are Isamu, stones are the most special of all.
How can they be so heavy?
Would they float if they had no weight?

Winner of the Theordor Seuss Geisel Award in 2020 for Stop! Bot!, James Yang imagines a day in the boyhood of Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi. Wandering through an outdoor market, through the forest, and then by the ocean, Isamu sees things through the eyes of a young artist . . .but also in a way that many children will relate. Stones look like birds. And birds look like stones.

Through colourful artwork and exquisite text, Yang translates the essence of Noguchi so that we can all begin to see as an artist sees.


  • Hard Cover, 40 pages
  • Age Range: 3-7 years
  • ISBN: 9780593203446


★ “A marvel of prose, illustration, and design that invites repeated meditation.” — Kirkus (starred review)

★ “[A]n attentive, balanced study of an artist’s sensibility.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

★ “Yang (Stop! Bot!, 2019) renders this imagined biography of Japanese American Isamu Noguchi with the utmost tenderness… This lyrical biography will resonate with creative types of all ages and can easily be incorporated into a curriculum as a springboard for writing, research, and art projects.” — Booklist (starred review)

★ “Yang's lyrical writing and rich vocabulary reads well aloud while providing thoughts to further ponder and discuss, especially for readers in today's busy, noisy world. Though produced in picture book format, the concepts—the need for quiet, introspection, and beauty in nature—will resonate across many grade levels. This is a book for all ages.”
— School Library Connection (starred review)

★ “Yang’s text meets child readers on their own level, framing the natural world as a source of curiosity and delight. His digital illustrations feel warm and organic…The book works as both an introduction to a fascinating artist and a tribute to the quiet joys of the natural world.” — The Horn Book (starred review)