General information

Sheila Hamanaka (2016)

Sheila Hamanaka has been illustrating children’s books since 1987. She is best known for her books on peace and multiculturalism. Her award-winning book “The Journey” is based on a five-panel mural she painted about the history of the Japanese in America, focusing on the concentration camps in which her parents were jailed during World War II. Her popular “All the Colors of the Earth” celebrates the diversity of children and parents. Hamanaka’s work with the Animal Welfare Institute reflects her deep concern for all sentient beings and for our home, earth. She is currently writing a series of middle grade novels with co-author Pat Cummings.

Books Written and Illustrated by Sheila Hamanaka

“The Boy Who Loved All Living Things” (Animal Welfare Institute, 2011) Albert Schweitzer biography & what he learned from animals and his work with sick people; written as an imaginary childhood journal

“Kamie Cat’s Terrible Night” (Animal Welfare Institute, 2010) night of a lost cat; outlines responsible care for cats

“Pablo Puppy’s Search for the Perfect Person” (Animal Welfare Institute, 2008) two dogs (one young & the other old) living in a shelter educate children about the humane treatment of animals

“The Boy Who Loved All Living Things: the Imaginary Childhood Journal of Albert Schweitzer” (Animal Welfare Institute, 2007)

“Grandparents Song” (HarperCollins 2003) celebrates the ancestry and diversity in our country; written in rhyme

“I Look Like a Girl” (Morrow Junior Books, 1999) imaginative story about a girl who assumes different shapes and forms, like a dolphin, condor, wolf

“In Search of the Spirit” (Morrow Junior Books, 1999)

“Peace Crane” (Morrow Junior Books 1995) A child in Africa hopes that the spirit of Sadako will influence the violent world in her life; written in verse

“Be-Bop-A-Do-Walk” (Simon & Schuster 1995)

All the Colors of the Earth” (Morrow 1994)

“Screen of Frogs” (Orchard Books 1993)

“The Journey” (Orchard Books 1990)

Books Illustrated by Sheila Hamanaka

LaPrise, Macak, Baker “The Hokey Pokey” (Simon & Schuster 1997)
Merriam, Eve “Quiet Please” (Simon & Schuster 1993)
Davol, Marquerite “The Heart of the Wood” (Simon & Schuster 1992)
Heath, Amy “Sophie’s Role” (Four Winds Press 1992)
Mills, Claudia “A Visit to Amy-Claire” (Macmillan 1992)
Compton, Patricia “The Terrible Eek” (Simon & Schuster 1991)
Hurwitz, Johanna “School’s Out” (Morrow 1991)
Hurwitz, Johanna “Class President” (Morrow 1990)
Merriam, Eve “Chortles” (Morrow 1989)
Merriam, Eve “Poem for a Pickle” (Morrow 1989)
Hurwitz, Johanna “Teacher’s Pet” (Morrow 1988)
Hurwitz, Johanna “Class Clown” (Morrow 1987)

Special Projects

“On The Wings of Peace” (Clarion Books 1995). In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hamanaka compiled the work of 60 children’s book authors and illustrators from around the world. The royalties were donated to three peace organizations chosen by the contributors.


2000: “In Search of the Spirit” Skipping Stones Multicultural and Environmental Magazine Honor Award
1999 “In Search of the Spirit” American Library Association Notable Book
1996 “On the Wings of Peace” Honor Book, Jane Addams Peace Award
1995 “All the Colors of the Earth”: Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies, Nat’l Council for the Social Studies, Children’s Book Council
1995 “Be-Bop-A-Do-Walk”: Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies
1994 “Quiet, Please”: Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts, NCTE
1994 “School’s Out”: New Jersey Library Assn. Children’s Book Award
1992 “The Terrible Eek”: Society of School Librarians Int’l Book Award

Awards for “The Journey”

1992 American Book Award
1991 Best Books for Young Adults, ALA 1991 Honor Book, Jane Addams Peace Award
1991 Recommended Books for the Reluctant Young Reader, ALA
1990 Best Books of the Year, School Library Journal
1990 Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies

Learn more about Sheila Hamanaka at her website.

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