An heirloom, a legacy, a documented progression of the immigrant story painted beautifully through the weaving of words and whimsical watercolor - The Day I Woke Up Different calls attention to the quiet humility of discovery when struggling to find and fall in love with the meaning of being, of becoming, Asian American. Many amongst us have walked the journey that Anh and Quyền experience and find ourselves seen once more. For others, we may be learning for the first time about the layered contradictions that are the lives of children born not of this land and of the children's children that are confronted with the inevitable question - am I enough?
In a time when Asians in the United States are being outcast, othered, and ostracized, the inaugural publication of 4th World Press as a children's book focused on celebrating the intersection that is immigrant is not only welcomed, it is absolutely essential.
We need more work like this. We need more art like this. More stories. More Anhs. More Quyềns. More of our own pages to be turned when reading our own babies to sleep with the hopes they will wake up more aware than we ever were. Let us sit down more with our families to find our love and reconstruct our narratives through storytelling the way The Day I Woke Up Different has masterfully performed.
Kim Davalos (kd)
Author and Founder of kd creatives