Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of CarsAuthor Mark Weston Illustrated by Katie Yamasaki ISBN 9781600602467 Binding Trade Cloth Publisher Lee & Low Books Publication Date August 28, 2009 Size 229 x 267 mm
One day in 1914 when Soichiro Honda was seven years old, an astonishing, moving dust cloud appeared in his small Japanese town. The cause was a leaky, noisy automobile-the first the boy had ever seen. At that moment Honda fell in love with cars, and a dream took hold. He would one day make them himself.
It took Honda many years to reach his goal. Along the way he became an expert mechanic and manufacturer of car parts. After World War II he developed a motorized bicycle, the forerunner of his innovative motorcycles. Eventually Honda began manufacturing cars, first race cars and then consumer cars. Constantly seeking ways to make his products better than his competitors', Honda grew into a global industry leader.
Soichiro Honda had an inventive mind and a passion for new ideas, and he never gave up on his dream. A legendary figure in the world of manufacturing, Honda is a dynamic symbol of lifelong determination, creativity, and the power of a dream.
This is Katie Yamasaki's first book.
"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. . . . 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."
School Library Journal
"Yamasaki helps to keep the tone light with fanciful painted illustrations that depict her subject set amid flying car parts and streams of tiny automobiles and motorcycles. Honda is neatly portrayed as someone who was smart enough both to stay in touch with his employees . . . and take early retirement. Though a demanding boss, Honda was not so much a driven, Olympian business leader, but rather a human being who found his bliss early on and stuck with it through thick and thin."
"Weston presents Honda as a perfectionist, an innovator in his field and a model corporate leader, who encouraged his workers, listened to them and treated them well. . . . Yamasaki's detailed and whimsical acrylics add zest to the proceedings. A worthwhile introduction to a neglected subject."
Katie Yamasaki is a fine artist, muralist, and teaching artist in the New York City public schools. Yamasaki lives in Brooklyn, New York. To learn more about Katie Yamasaki, visit her at www.katieyamasaki.com.