Katie Yamasaki presents 'Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather's American Journey'

Katie Yamasaki’s newest picture book celebrates the life of her grandfather, the acclaimed Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki.


Third Place Books welcomes muralist and children’s book artist Katie Yamasaki to our Ravenna store! In a presentation for all ages, Yamasaki will read from her latest illustrated book, Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather's American Journey. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended in advance.

Copies of Shapes, Lines, and Light will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About Shapes, Lines, and Light. . .

Minoru Yamasaki described the feeling he sought to create in his buildings as “serenity, surprise, and delight.” Here, Katie Yamasaki charts his life and work: his childhood in Seattle’s Japanese immigrant community, paying his way through college working in Alaska’s notorious salmon canneries, his success in architectural school, and the transformative structures he imagined and built. A Japanese American man who faced brutal anti-Asian racism in post–World War II America and an outsider to the architectural establishment, he nonetheless left his mark on the world, from the American Midwest to New York City, Asia, and the Middle East.

This striking picture book renders one artist’s work through the eyes of another, and tells a story of a man whose vision, hard work, and humanity led him to the pinnacle of his field.


Praise for Shapes, Lines, and Light. . .

"An apt tribute to an iconic architect."

"An American story of beating the odds and overcoming bigotry to create something greater than oneself. Inspiring."
Kirkus Reviews

"Yamasaki creates a loving portrait of her grandfather that emphasizes family and perseverance in equal measure."
School Library Journal

Katie Yamasaki is a muralist and children’s book artist. She has traveled widely, painting over 80 murals with diverse communities around the world that explore local issues of identity and social justice. Her children’s book work focuses on similar themes of social justice and stories from underrepresented communities. Her most recent book, Shapes, Lines, and Light, is a picture book biography of her grandfather, the celebrated Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki. She is also the author and illustrator of Dad Bakes, which tells the story of a father and daughter reconnecting after a separation caused by the father’s incarceration, Everything Naomi Loved (with Ian Lendler), When the Cousins Came and Fish for Jimmy. Katie worked for 14 years as a Spanish and Art teacher in the Detroit and New York City public schools. Currently, she is beginning a multi-year residency with New York’s Women and Justice Project and is a teaching artist at The Center for Fiction in Brooklyn. She earned her BA from Earlham College and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she served on the faculty for several years. You can explore more of Katie’s work on her website, at www.katieyamasaki.com, or on her Instagram page, @katieyamasaki. (Photo credit: Michael Chung)

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from the event.

For media inquiries, access inquiries, or questions about our Covid-19 policies, please email events@thirdplacebooks.com or call our Lake Forest Park store at (206) 366-3311.