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Book Review: Drawing From Memory

14 Mar

This graphic novel is Allen Say’s own autobiography that follows his journey from a young child who loved to draw and read comic books to a young artist during WWII who became an apprentice under Noro Shinpei, Japan’s leading cartoonist.  Allen was shunned by his father at an early age who didn’t understand or value his artistic talent.  When his parents separated, Allen was furnished with his own apartment at the age of 12 as a quiet place to study (and create art!)  Both the historical context and the relationships Allen forms on his quest to developing and embracing his love for art make this an intriguing book to read.  The author’s note at the end of the book includes real photographs and some follow-up notes as to what happens to Allen later in life.

Today, Allen Say lives right here in Portland, Oregon.  He is a well-loved and respected artist who has won the Caldecott Medal for “Grandfather’s Journey” as well as a Caldecott Honor and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for ” the Boy of the Three-Year Nap”.

Title:  Drawing from memory

Author/Illustrator:  Allen Say

Publisher:  Scholastic Press

ISBN:  978-0-545-17686-6

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