Children’s book illustrations exhibition opens at the Woodson Art Museum

Wausau, Wisconsin: Colorful and cheerful, yet powerful and meaningful, these are just some of the feelings conveyed in the work of children’s book author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales’ stories are heavily influenced by her childhood in Mexico and share insight from her perspective as an immigrant. These stories are on display in Soñadora: Yuyi Morales.


Morales’ upbringing fostered her strong bond with drawing and vibrant storytelling. After migrating to the United States in 1994, she struggled with English and was engulfed in an entirely new culture. She found solace in public libraries, where she read children’s books with her young son. Despite the language barrier, she could understand the tales through the illustrations, which reignited her passion for storytelling and art.

The Museum’s Curator of Exhibitions, Shannon Pueschner, says “Yuyi’s illustrations are vibrant depictions of life’s questions and triumphs. She brings insight and wisdom to every page.”


Morales’ widely acclaimed works have been recognized with starred reviews in publications such as Publisher’s Weekly, The New York Times, and Booklist. She is a six-time recipient of the prestigious Pura Belpré award and was the first Latina to receive a Caldecott Honor for her book, Viva Frida, in 2015.


During a week-long residency, February 14 through 20, Yuyi Morales will share her personal influences and connection to Mexican culture as well as her storytelling and art making processes with visitors, students, and educators. In addition to public programming at the Museum, Yuyi will participate in outreach initiatives with the local community.


Soñadora: Yuyi Morales, on view December 2, 2023, through February 25, 2024, comprises more than sixty mixed-media artworks from fourteen of Morales’ books that will enliven and inspire viewers of any age.

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