Shining inspirations


I Am Able to Shine

By Korey Watari, illustrated by Mike Wu (Two Lions, 2022, 40 pp., $10.29, hard cover)

This book was written about a Japanese American girl named Keiko who is very self-confident. She is determined to shine. “Her generous heart fills her with strength and purpose.” Her mother inspires her and Keiko is surrounded by a loving family.

Keiko is proud of her cultural traditions like Obon dancing and origami crane folding. She introduces her friends to them.

Her goal is to become a very important person, even one who works in the White House.

When Keiko reaches adulthood, she gives birth to a daughter. She names her Teruko, meaning “to shine.” She has high hopes. Keiko dreams that Teruko will become an inspiring woman.

This is a positive, uplifting and empowering story, especially for young Asian American girls growing up today. As a mother who has raised a daughter to meet life’s challenges, we need more stories like this.

I greatly enjoyed this book, the cute characters, the powerful language and the adorable illustrations.

I hope that you might like to read it, too. Recommended reading age: three to seven years.

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