A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

more books about Asian-American experience & identity


5-8 years

  • artists
  • Asian-American experience
  • trailblazers
  • nature
  • sculpture
  • self-expression 
  • historical figures

andrea d’aquino


This is a lovely book designed to introduce Ruth Asawa to younger children!  The artistic styling of the book is beautiful, a combination of collage and drawn images.  It has a very simple plot line, and does not address the fact that she and her family were interned in camps during WWII, instead focusing on her artistic journey and development as the prolific artist that we know her today.

Ruth was a curious child, fascinated by the natural world and constantly making art.  The book touches briefly on Ruth’s entire life, defined by her desire to create sculptures that the world had never seen before, mostly out of wire.  In the back of the book is more information about Ruth, including her family history and an author’s note.  This is a great book for a budding artist, and a quick read!

About the Author & the Illustrator:


Andrea D’Aquino is an illustrator and author based in New York City.

Her latest book is “A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa”, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

“Everything is Mine”, coming in Fall ‘20, from Tate/UK.

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is a quirky and modern take on the classic text. It has been translated into many international editions.

 “Once Upon a Piece of Paper”, is an irreverant approach to creativity and embracing chaos, mistakes and chance.

Partial client list: Anthropologie, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, AARP, Conde Nast Traveler, Meredith Corp, Flow Magazine, Uppercase Magazine, Eater.com, One Kings Lane, Chronicle Books, Tate UK, others.

Public speaking and workshops:  Plymouth University (UK), Syracuse University,  FIT (State University of NY), Maryland Institute of the Arts.

Awards: The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, The Type Director’s Club, The Art Director’s Club, 3×3 and Communication Arts among others.

Exhibitions: Rare Device/San Francisco, My Plastic Heart/NYC,  Biblioteca Civica di Verona/Italy, Les Libellules/Bologna, Italy, a solo show at the University of Philadelphia.

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