Roots and Wings How Shahzia Sikander Became an Artist

Roots and Wings

How Shahzia Sikander Became an Artist

By Shahzia Sikander
Illustrator Hanna Barczyk
Co-writer Amy Novesky


Price: $19.95

  • Publication Date: May 11, 2021
  • Imprint: Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Trim Size: 9 x 11 34
  • ISBN: 9781633450356
  • Page Count: 40
  • Illustrations: Full-color illustrations throughout
  • Rights: North America

Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander recounts how growing up as a tomboy in a multicultural home in Pakistan inspired her to become an artist

Growing up in a multigenerational, multicultural home in Lahore, Pakistan, where her family’s Muslim traditions are filled with food and rituals, Shahzia is surrounded by stories of all kinds. At the Catholic school she attends, she studies Western literature, and at home, her father regales her and her siblings with fantastical tales from a Russian storybook on animals. Shahzia’s love for books leads to a fascination with illustrations, like the ones she sees in illuminated manuscripts and South Asian miniature portraits, and she discovers a talent for drawing. Through art, Shahzia is able to create the different worlds she reads about, using her imagination to take her beyond the walls of the home she grows up in.
Written by artist Shahzia Sikander with award-winning author Amy Novesky, and featuring artwork, Roots and Wings is a colorful introduction to a multicultural perspective that will inspire young readers to use art and imagination to explore new worlds.


"The accomplished illustrator Hanna Barczyk, in her debut English-language picture book, gives the story a convincing, personal interpretation . . . Barczyk manages to stay beautifully true to her own style. Her paintings — a digitally assembled mix of ink, gouache and acrylic — have an appealing fanciful quality even when depicting realistic scenes, and the carefully balanced blend of warm and cool colors gives the book a satisfying unity."
The New York Times Book Review

About the author

Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969) is a Pakistani-born and internationally recognized artist whose work is in the collections of major museums around the world. She lives in New York. Amy Novesky is a children’s book editor and author who lives just north of San Francisco. Hanna Barczyk is a widely published illustrator who lives in New York and Toronto.