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Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say

Grandfather's Journey (1993)

by Allen Say

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2,0492284,899 (4.1)27



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English (228)  French (1)  All languages (229)
Showing 1-5 of 228 (next | show all)
This story shows how difficult it is for immigrants, they may love where they have landed, but the tug of home and their community runs deeply, through multiple generations. ( )
  lisaladdvt | Jun 11, 2019 |
Grandfather's Journey is one of those simple and sweet picture books that is able to tell someone's life story with short but impactful sentences. The framed images surrounded by white borders fall above the succinctly stated words. Allen Say places the text at the bottom of the pages, weaving the visual journey the Grandfather takes with the flow and placement of where the words are, and also uses descriptive and complex vocabulary, such as words like bewildered and astonished (which I like). ( )
  EMiMIB | Jun 7, 2019 |
Really, really liked this - will definitely be getting it for children in hard copy. ( )
  liz.mabry | May 13, 2019 |
This book tells a great story about generations of family. A young boy tells the story of his grandfather's life. He comes from Japan and explores the world on his journey to California, USA. He eventually returns to Japan to marry the love of his life. But his heart longs for San Francisco and that is where they return to build a family of their own. When his daughter is grown to be an adult, he brings them back to Japan and buys a home outside of the village. She soon falls in love and has a son, who is the boy telling the story. They continue their life in Japan and then he speaks of visiting California to visit the places his grandfather spoke about. He ends the story with, "The funny thing is, the moment I'm in one country, I'm homesick for another." This book does a great job emphasizing the importance of family and the roots that we come from.
  sminto2 | Apr 16, 2019 |
I know about enslaved people being forced through the Middle Passage, and people arriving via the Atlantic and Ellis Island, but for some reason never thought about people who crossed the Pacific ocean to emigrate to the U.S. I needed to read this book. ( )
  HarpersOmah | Mar 19, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 228 (next | show all)
Gr 3 Up-A personal history of three generations of the author's family that points out the emotions that are common to the immigrant experience. Splendid, photoreal watercolors have the look of formal family portraits or candid snapshots, all set against idyllic landscapes in Japan and in the U.S. (Sept., 1993)
added by sriches | editSchool Library Journal (Jul 22, 1993)
Say transcends the achievements of his Tree of Cranes and A River Dream with this breathtaking picture book, at once a very personal tribute to his grandfather and a distillation of universally shared emotions. Elegantly honed text accompanies large, formally composed paintings to convey Say's family history; the sepia tones and delicately faded colors of the art suggest a much-cherished and carefully preserved family album. A portrait of Say's grandfather opens the book, showing him in traditional Japanese dress, ``a young man when he left his home in Japan and went to see the world.'' Crossing the Pacific on a steamship, he arrives in North America and explores the land by train, by riverboat and on foot. One especially arresting, light-washed painting presents Grandfather in shirtsleeves, vest and tie, holding his suit jacket under his arm as he gazes over a prairie: ``The endless farm fields reminded him of the ocean he had crossed.'' Grandfather discovers that ``the more he traveled, the more he longed to see new places,'' but he nevertheless returns home to marry his childhood sweetheart. He brings her to California, where their daughter is born, but her youth reminds him inexorably of his own, and when she is nearly grown, he takes the family back to Japan. The restlessness endures: the daughter cannot be at home in a Japanese village; he himself cannot forget California. Although war shatters Grandfather's hopes to revisit his second land, years later Say repeats the journey: ``I came to love the land my grandfather had loved, and I stayed on and on until I had a daughter of my own.'' The internal struggle of his grandfather also continues within Say, who writes that he, too, misses the places of his childhood and periodically returns to them. The tranquility of the art and the powerfully controlled prose underscore the profundity of Say's themes, investing the final line with an abiding, aching pathos: ``The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other.'' Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

"The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked as it is in this direct, lyrical narrative that is able to stir emotions through the sheer simplicity of its telling."
added by sriches | editPublishers Weekly
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To Richard, Francine, and Davis
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My grandfather was a young man when he left his home in Japan and went to see the world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
This is a great story to add to the library corner in a preschool classroom, particularly if you have any children and families from Asian culture. Even if the children only look at the pictures, it will allow young children to see people of their culture represented in books. Although it states in the review that this book is a good read for children 4 to 8, I would probably only read out load with a modified approach. I think it is a great book to promote during choice time, but I think it may be more influential to the older child. I think depending on your population and how much exposure to books at home, and language in general plays a huge part in how a teacher will present literature to young readers.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395570352, Hardcover)

Home becomes elusive in this story about immigration and acculturation, pieced together through old pictures and salvaged family tales. Both the narrator and his grandfather long to return to Japan, but when they do, they feel anonymous and confused: "The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other." Allen Say's prose is succinct and controlled, to the effect of surprise when monumental events are scaled down to a few words: "The young woman fell in love, married, and sometime later I was born." The book also has large, formal paintings in delicate, faded colors that portray a cherished and well-preserved family album. The book, for audiences ages 4 to 8, won the 1994 Caldecott Medal.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:03 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.

» see all 2 descriptions

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