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Drawing From Memory by Allen Say
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Drawing From Memory

by Allen Say

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I read the sequel to this (last year, I think) and have wanted to read this one ever since. Allen Say is one of my favourite modern children's illustrators. This is a picture book with a large amount of text suitable for older children to adults. It's a wonderful tale of the author's life from birth until he sets off for America. Obviously,the focus is on his passion for drawing. Very interesting and well-written memoir. ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 4, 2016 |
Celebrated Japanese-American children's artist Allen Say, who won the Caldecott Medal for Grandfather's Journey, a picture-book exploring his family's complicated history moving back and forth between Japan and the United States through the generations, chronicles his own youth and coming of age as an artist in this graphic novel/picture-book autobiography for young readers. Born in 1937 near Yokohama, Japan, Say was still a young child during WWII, and evacuated to a small village with his mother and sister. After the war, and his parents' subsequent divorce, Say was sent to live with his grandmother in Tokyo, where he was convinced to work hard at his schooling by the promise of his own lodgings. But although he did indeed succeed academically, getting in to the prestigious Aoyama Middle School, his true passion was art, and he managed to convince Noro Shinpei, the most famous cartoonist in Japan, to take him on as a student. Devoting himself to his studies, Say lived and worked alone from the age of thirteen. A number of years later, in July of 1953, Say left Japan, accepting his estranged father's offer of passage to America...

As informative as it is entertaining, Drawing from Memory is children's biography at its best, offering an immensely engaging look at the youth of a celebrated children's author and artist. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about Say's early life, given the fact that I have enjoyed so many of his picture-books, which are often drawn from the history and life-stories of various Say family members. He has certainly lived an interesting life, to judge by the first sixteen years! I can't imagine a thirteen-year-old being given his own living situation today, outside of a supervised one such as would be provided by a boarding school. Nor can I imagine an ambitious young person easily convincing a master in his chosen discipline to teach and sponsor him, without some sort of introduction. However that may be, there is no doubt that Say was compelled to follow his dream to become an artist, a calling he felt from the time he was a small boy, and that the world has benefited from his work. Recommended to Allen Say fans, and to anyone looking for good biography/autobiography for middle-grade readers. For myself, I look forward to reading the next volume of Say's autobiography, The Inker's Shadow. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Sep 29, 2016 |
What a lovely autobiography by Portland author Allen Say. I cried. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
What a lovely autobiography by Portland author Allen Say. I cried. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
What a lovely autobiography by Portland author Allen Say. I cried. ( )
  thukpa | Feb 5, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545176867, Hardcover)

Caldecott Medalist Allen Say presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during WWII, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan’s premier cartoonist

DRAWING FROM MEMORY is Allen Say's own story of his path to becoming the renowned artist he is today. Shunned by his father, who didn't understand his son's artistic leanings, Allen was embraced by Noro Shinpei, Japan's leading cartoonist and the man he came to love as his "spiritual father." As WWII raged, Allen was further inspired to consider questions of his own heritage and the motivations of those around him. He worked hard in rigorous drawing classes, studied, trained--and ultimately came to understand who he really is.

Part memoir, part graphic novel, part narrative history, DRAWING FROM MEMORY presents a complex look at the real-life relationship between a mentor and his student. With watercolor paintings, original cartoons, vintage photographs, and maps, Allen Say has created a book that will inspire the artist in all of us.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

"Caldecott Medalist Allen Say presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during WWII, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan's premier cartoonistDRAWING FROM MEMORY is Allen Say's own story of his path to becoming the renowned artist he is today. Shunned by his father, who didn't understand his son's artistic leanings, Allen was embraced by Noro Shinpei, Japan's leading cartoonist and the man he came to love as his "spiritual father." As WWII raged, Allen was further inspired to consider questions of his own heritage and the motivations of those around him. He worked hard in rigorous drawing classes, studied, trained--and ultimately came to understand who he really is. Part memoir, part graphic novel, part narrative history, DRAWING FROM MEMORY presents a complex look at the real-life relationship between a mentor and his student. With watercolor paintings, original cartoons, vintage photographs, and maps, Allen Say has created a book that will inspire the artist in all of us"--… (more)

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