The life story of Soichiro Honda, pioneering Japanese businessman and innovative motorcycle and car manufacturer.
This picture-book biography follows the life of Soichiro Honda, born in 1906, from his beginnings as a boy working in his father's smith shop to his international success as a manufacturer. Weston's writing is clear and accessible, even to those who might not know any automotive lingo. The book reads like a story, with fictionalization of Honda's thoughts and dialogue and emphasis on his persistence and ingenuity. Yamasaki's acrylic illustrations dominate each page. At first glance they seem representational, but on closer inspection readers will find little men climbing on the engine parts and pieces of machinery swirling up into the air like dust, miniature cars going around a globe and down Honda's arm, and figures on tiny motorcycles on mountains as a backdrop to modern, colorfully clad men and women riding on the road. Yamasaki's creative composition makes the pictures interesting and dynamic. There has been very little published about Honda for children. This story takes a step toward filling that gap.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Meet the Author
MARK WESTON's inspiration for this children's book about Soichiro Honda came from the extensive research he did several years ago for his highly-praised adult book, Giants of Japan: The Lives of Japan's Greatest Men and Women. A former attorney, journalist, and Jeopardy! contestant, Weston is now a full-time writer. He lives in Armonk, New York.
KATIE YAMASAKI is an illustrator, muralist, fine artist, and teaching artist in the New York City public schools. Growing up among the "car culture" of Detroit, Yamasaki had an immediate connection to this story, although she had much to learn about motorcycles and cars. To research this book, she also traveled to Japan to visit Honda's hometown, Honda factories and corporate headquarters, and other places important in his life. In 2007 Yamasaki visited Cuba for a solo exhibition of her paintings and to foster visual and written dialogue among American and Cuban youth. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first book.
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