Chieri Uegaki - Author


Chieri is a second-generation Japanese Canadian who was born in Quesnel, British Columbia. By the age of one, she and her parents had moved to East Vancouver, where she and her two younger sisters grew up.#Chieri attended Sir John Franklin Elementary. Initially, she had to take English as a Second Language classes as she spoke mostly Japanese at home. An excellent ESL teacher and an inherited love of books helped develop Chieri’s skills quickly, and language arts became one of her favorite subjects.#After graduating from Templeton Secondary School, Chieri attended the University of British Columbia and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.#Chieri’s first picture book, Suki’s Kimono, was a result of losing two children’s writing competitions. She took a story she had written at UBC almost a decade earlier, rewrote it as a picture book and submitted it to a competition. After being shortlisted in that first competition, Chieri honed the story even more and entered a second competition. Again, Suki’s Kimono did not win. But as a result of being shortlisted, two publishers requested a copy of the manuscript, and Kids Can Press came back with an offer to publish.#Suki’s Kimono, illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch, was released in 2003. Chieri enjoyed the picture book experience so much that she decided to continue writing for children.#She has since written stories for Pearson Education, Chirp and Chickadee magazines, and has published three more picture books: Rosie and Buttercup; Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin; and Ojiichan’s Gift.#Chieri lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and two undertrained dogs. She wishes she had stuck with her childhood piano lessons and that she was a naturally gifted singer.


  • Ojiichan’s Gift

    2021 - Chocolate Lily Book Award - Picture Book Category, Skipping Stones Magazine, Commended

    2020 - Skipping Stones Honor List, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

    2019 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Kirkus Reviews, Winner

    2019 - Best Picture Books of 2019 List, Spirituality and Practice, Winner

    2019 - Best Spiritual Children's Books of the Year list, Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Winner

    2019 - Ezra Jack Keats Award, , Nominee

  • Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

    2015 - CCBC Choices, Cooperative Children's Book Center, Winner

    2015 - Chocolate Lily Book Award, Picture Book Category, West Coast Book Prize Society, Commended

    2015 - Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, Commended

    2015 - Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Writer, Maine Association of School Libraries (MASL), Winner

    2015 - Maine State Chickadee Award, Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group, Commended

    2015 - Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS) List, International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Winner

    2015 - USBBY Outstanding International Books, honor list, OLA’s Canadian Materials Committee, Winner

    2014 - , Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, Winner

    2014 - 2014 OLA Best Bet List for Children, Toronto Public Library, Winner

    2014 - Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, Picture Book Category, Canada Council, Commended

    2014 - First & Best List, A Mighty Girl, Commended

    2014 - Governor General's Literary Award, Children's Literature Illustration, Metro News, Winner

    2014 - Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books For Younger Readers, , Winner

  • Suki’s Kimono

    2005 - Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association, Commended

    2005 - Chocolate Lily Award, ForeWord Magazine, Commended

    2004 - Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, International Reading Association, Commended

    2004 - Book of the Year – Bronze Medal, , Winner

    2004 - Children's Book Award Notable Book, , Winner

    2004 - Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, , Commended

    2004 - Mr. Christie Book Award, , Commended

    2004 - Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award, , Commended

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