Felicia Hoshino Illustration


The Bamboo Garden

Written by Susan Austin
Cover Illustration & Design by Felicia Hoshino
Published by Song Tree Books

My first book cover for young readers! It was a pleasure working with Susan and learning about Berkeley in the 1920’s. Inspiration for the cover design was found in the friendship shared by the two main characters whose relationship is strengthened as they are faced with anti-Japanese prejudices.

Learn more about Susan Austin and The Bamboo Garden at Song Tree Books.

where to buy…

Now Available on Amazon.com!
Also available at all bookstores. Use ISBN 978-0-9856270-0-4

Paperback – 256 Pages
For ages 10 and up

about the book…

Tori stood in the Griffins’ kitchen, holding Mama’s hand.

Even before she saw her, Tori heard the sounds of Polly Griffin: a great thumping of feet on the floorboards overhead, then the clattering of shoes down the wooden staircase into the kitchen.

Brown braids flying, cheeks flushed red, Polly jumped off the bottom step and into Tori’s life.

From The Bamboo Garden, Susan Austin

It isn’t easy for Tori Takahashi and Polly Griffin to be best friends. There are so many differences—how they look, where they live, and how they feel about things. Yet, the thoughtful ways of one and the enthusiasm of the other make for a winning combination. Every week Tori and her mother ride the trolley through Berkeley to Polly’s house where Mrs. Takahashi cleans and sews for the Griffins. Tori delights in this magical world, especially planning adventures and sharing secrets with Polly in her bamboo garden. The hot, dry summer of 1923 makes the stalks taller and stronger, just like the girls’ friendship. Surprisingly, their biggest adventure is about to begin. All the signs are there: the strange weather, the troubling news delivered by a disagreeable neighbor girl, and a hobo’s remarkable gift.


“Almost” final sketch of the cover. We spoke about not wanting to show a full depiction of their faces.

Final sketch of front and back covers with spine. Susan requested that Tori get a “haircut” to better match the style of the period and her need to fit in. We also changed the main title font to match the font selected for the interior chapter titles.

I was very excited to receive a few copies. Thanks Susan!