The Reading Culture Welcomes LeUyen Pham

LeUyen Pham
Masthead Waves

To listen to LeUyen Pham is to feel inspired. She is full of hope and ideas and sees potential everywhere and in everyone. In LeUyen’s ideal world, diverse representation is a natural byproduct of art that truly reflects our world. Her career as an artist and writer has contributed to making that a reality. If you have ever read a book LeUyen illustrated, you already know this to be true. The diversity we see in LeUyen’s pages is at once realistic and aspirational. 


And wow, is she prolific! LeUyen’s illustration credits include over 130 books, such as “Bear Came Along,” recognized with a Caldecott Honor, the popular “The Princess in Black” series, “Lunar New Year Love Story,” and my kids’ favorite when they were younger, “Grace for President.” She has also illustrated and written a few of her own, including the award-winning “Outside, Inside” and “Big Sister Little Sister.”


In this episode, LeUyen tells us why she prefers to be an “art chameleon” (and how that led to challenges early in her career). She talks about how support from her teachers showed her that a career as an artist was even a possibility and how an accusation of cheating (well, not really) put her on the right path.


In her reading challenge, Chasing Home, LeUyen gets personal and invites us to explore the concept of what home means, especially from her perspective as a refugee.


This week’s Beanstack Featured Librarian is Marva Coney, a Pasadena Independent School District librarian. She shares a story about how important books can be as kids start to grow and experience newer and harder parts of life for the first time.


Listen to the full episode, “The World As It Should Be: LeUyen Pham Illustrates an Ideal,”  on Apple, Spotify, Podbean, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts. Like what you hear? Please leave a 5-star review, subscribe, and share with someone who will enjoy it!


Follow Jordan and the podcast on Instagram @thereadingculturepod to see reels of our guests, and subscribe to our newsletter to see bonus content, read more intimate background stories, and learn about upcoming giveaways! #readingculturefam


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