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Grandfather's Journey (1993)

by Allen Say

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3,0952484,452 (4.11)38
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.
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» See also 38 mentions

English (247)  French (1)  All languages (248)
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
Through pensive portraits and delicately faded art, Allen Say pays tribute to his grandfather's persistent longing for home that continues within Allen.

This restlessness and constant desire to be in two places speaks to a universal experience as well as the deeply personal ties of family to place, and what it means to be at home in more than one country.
  PlumfieldCH | Apr 16, 2024 |
A simply told but emotionally true account of a man's grandfather's process of changing homes repeatedly between Japan and America during times of big change, and how it feels to be between places.
  sloth852 | Jan 2, 2024 |
I remember this being on Reading Rainbow! I'd also completely forgotten that the grandfather goes BACK to Japan and never returns to the US. Gorgeous art. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 28, 2023 |
EducatingParents.org rating: Approved
Still under review.
  MamaBearLendingDen | Dec 1, 2023 |
this book has beautiful illustrations, and i would use this book when it comes to just a daily read talking about family or water colors. Its about a grandpa who goes and visits the world but when goes to one place he misses the other.
  cflores21 | Feb 28, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (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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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.

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