A Place Where Sunflowers Grow

Presented by Taylor Sharp EDEL 411 Section C

Information About The Text

Lee-Tai, A. (2006). A Place Where Wildflowers Grow. Hong Kong: Jacket art

Author: Amy Lee-Tai

Illustrator: Felicia Hoshino

Genre: Historical Fiction

Topic/Theme: Even when things get hard, family and friends will always be there to help brighten up your situation. Never give up hope!

Award: Jane Adam's Children's Book Award

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About The Author

Amy Lee-Tai is of Japanese and Chinese ancestry, although she was born in New York City. She now lives happily in Viginia with her husband and two daughters. A Place Where Sunflowers Grow is her first book, and she learned about the Japanese American internment from her mom and grandmothers paintings. The author's mother and grandmother were placed in the internment camp talked about in the story, and they really did grow sunflowers and pain pictures.
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About The Illustrator

Felicia Hoshino issustrates for children's books and magazines like Cicada. She creates mixed-media pictures. Feliciawas born in San Franciso, California, and still lives there with her husband and son. She also studies and performs Japanese classical dance. Felica used watercolor, ink, tissue paper and acrylic paint to create these illustratons for the book. She also based some of her illustrations on artwork created by the author, Amy Lee-Tai's grandmother, from her time spend in the internment.

Criteria for High Quality Multiculteral Literature

1. Themes are consistent with the values, beliefs, customs, traditions and conflicts of the specifc cultural group.

In the book, the parents often called their daughter "Mari-chan", which is a term of endearment traditionally used by Japanese people. Also, Mari's dad told her the Japanese philosophy, which is: "Spring comes after winter, and flowers bloom again." Which shows that they always try to stay positive and that good things can happen at any time. Also, this books has the text written in English but also written in Japanese so readers of both languages can easily read the story.

2. The book honors and celebrates diversity as well as common bonds in humanity.

This book shows a little of what it was like for Japanese Americans during war time in the early 1940's. It shows how people were put in camps and not given much just because of their race, but shows that even during those hard times people didn't give up hope. It also shows to never give up hope and that you can always depend on your family and friends when times get hard.

3. The book is rich in cultural details.

The story is based on a true story of what happened to the author's mother and grandmother while they were sent to the internment camp during this time. It is historically correct that during the war Japanese Americans were sent to camps because the government thought they couldn't be trusted.

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow Lesson Idea

Grade Level: Kindergarten

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.K.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details

Students will describe the main character's life in the camp.

Students will create a picture and sentence retelling one part from the story.


1. Teacher will give some students a blue dot, and some students will get nothing. The students with no dot can use the crayons they want, talk when they know an answer, sit in nice chairs, etc. Then ask the students how this made them feel. Are all students different?

2. Read the story A Place Where Sunflowers Grow. Ask the students how they would feel if they were in Mari's place? Have the students describe the main character and what her life seems like in the camp. Where does the story seem to take a turn?

3. Have the students go back to their seats and draw their favorite scene from the story. When they finish, have them write one sentence about what they drew.

Hannah Sharp 2

Audio Recording on Wednesday night by Hannah Sharp 2