Synopses & Reviews
In 1983, beloved Caldecott-winning illustrator, Chris Van Allsburg, first invited readers to peer over the edge of a cliff to consider the wreck of a small sailboat. Had a churning sea carried the Zephyr up in a storm? Could waves ever have been so impossibly high? And what of the boy who had believedand#8212;dared to chase the windand#8212;no matter where it lead? Now, thirty years later, the winds have shifted once again and youand#8217;re invited back to the wreck of the Zephyr, to hear the story of the boy and his obsession to become the worldand#8217;s greatest sailor, and a storm that carried them to a place where boats sail on the wind, instead of on the water. Told in spare text and haunting, full-color pastels, Chris Van Allsburgand#8217;s spectral sailboats once again take impossbile flight. In illustrations so vivid one can feel the whisper of wind and hear the flutter of canvas, depart this world for another to entertain the marvelous possibility of dreams. This 30th anniversaryand#160;giftand#160;edition includes a bonus digital audio file to download, read by Chris Van Allsburg, and aand#160;stunning new jacket!
"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." Horn Book, Starred
Library Media Connection
"A gift from artist to child that indicates a ripe maturity in both its illustrative and textual elements. Serving as a bridge between American and Japanese cultures, . . . understated and pristine, Tree of Cranes is the achievement of a master in his prime, one of the best picture books of this or any other year." Horn Book, Starred
"Like a cinematographer, Say, in perhaps his best work to date, pays tribute to a bygone era with a brief slice-of-life story about a boyand#8217;s encounter with a sing painter. . . . . Say subtly and ingeniously blends a feeling of nostalgia with a hard-hitting immediacy. . . . The images and the boyand#8217;s passion as an artist will remain with [readers]." and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review Publishers Weekly, Starred
"Studying sayand#8217;s technique could inspire any aspiring painter." and#8212;Horn Book (9-10/00) Horn Book
"In a tribute to many modern artists, includijng Hopper, Warhol, and Magritte, Say shows and tells how their pictures make you feel and how the surreal is part of a young man's search for himself." and#8212;Booklist (19/01/00 Booklist, ALA
Kirkus Reviews (9/15/00) Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (9/00) School Library Journal
"This engaging picture book clearly presents a wealth of information." and#8212;Booklist, ALA
"A subtle, sensitive probing of interracial adoption, this exquisitely illustrated story will encourage thoughtful adult-child dialogue on a potentially difficult issue." Publishers Weekly, Starred
"Continuing to explore place and home, Say tells the story of his mother, first introduced to readers in TREE OF CRANES. Born in California to Japanese immigrants, Masako is miserable when she moves to Japan with her parents after high school. The illustrations capture Masako's unhappiness and also her eventual contentment as she learns to combine two cultures." Horn Book
In describing how his parents met, Say continues to explore the ways that differing cultures can harmonize; raised near San Francisco and known as May everywhere except at home, where she is Masako, the child who will grow up to be Say's mother becomes a misfit when her family moves back to Japan. Rebelling against attempts to force her into the mold of a traditional Japanese woman, she leaves for Osaka, finds work as a department store translator, and meets Joseph, a Chinese businessman who not only speaks English, but prefers tea with milk and sugar, and persuades her that home isn't a place or a building that's ready-made or waiting for you, in America or anywhere else.' Painted with characteristic control and restraint, Say's illustrations, largely portraits, begin with a sepia view of a sullen child in a kimono, gradually take on distinct, subdued color, and end with a formal shot of the smiling young couple in Western dress. A stately cousin to Ina R. Friedman's How My Parents Learned To Eat (1984), also illustrated by Say.
"A softly wrought story with significant content." Booklist, ALA
"Say's subtle watercolor shadings and the details in the fine lines of these illustrations capture the power and the sensitivity of this story of a man who learns that to become someone beyond his current self, he must first truly be himself." School Library Journal
"A warm, sensitive portrait of growing up in post-war Japan." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"The Caldecott Medalist draws on his boyhood in postwar Tokyo for this autobiographical novel about a talented boy's artistic education." Publishers Weekly
"A delightful story." Kirkus Reviews
The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked.
Horn Book, Starred
"The full-color pastel drawings are the work of a master: stunning, luminescent, and conveying a sense of the mystical and magical." Publishers Weekly
"Say's gift is to multiply themes without struggling under their weight. . . . His artistry and power of invention are as strong as ever, and so will be his readers' enthusiasm." and#151;Publishers Weekly, starred Publishers Weekly, Starred
"The quietly dramatic, beautifully evocative, tale contains a cliffhanger of its own, along with exquisite art in the style of Kamishibai picture cards that will attract even the most jaded kid away from the TV screen to enjoy a good, good book." -- Booklist, starred Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"Say's paintings are lovely: eloquent characterizations, evocative landscapes, and, for the memory sequence, a more freely drawn style that recalls the vanished art form he celebrates." and#151;Horn Book Horn Book
"Many themesErikas search for "old Japan"; the subtle chain of incidents that lead to lovemay appeal most to older readers, perhaps even adults. Children with a strong curiosity about another culture, though, will recognize Erikas unwavering interest, and many readers will welcome the varied views of Japan, from city to town to tiny village reflected in Says exquisitely rendered watercolors."Booklist
"With luminous watercolors and economical text, Caldecott Medalist Say (Grandfather's Journey) tells of an American girl whose ingenuous hopes of reaching "old Japan" are finally realized . . . Say sprinkles Japanese words and definitions smoothly into the story as Erika surprises a male colleague (and readers) with the thoroughness with which she pursues her dream. Although the plot may prove slow going for many in the target audience, aficionados of Say's tranquil work will find both the message and the delivery deeply satisfying."Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Expert angles and a touching sense of stillness make this piece visually masterful even while conceptually disquieting."Kirkus Reviews
"Says storytelling and art are as absorbing as ever; the illustrations of rural Japan will have adults yearning for their own remote farmhouse."Horn Book
"Say's eloquent watercolors are a lesson in composition, with dramatic geometry, especially diagonals, bringing poise and elegance to what could otherwise be ordinary scenes."The Bulletin
"Say's book makes a case for following your dreams, however inchoate and even . . . dreamlike they are."New York Times Book Review Bookshelf
"The pictures, handsome in every respect, are done in Japanese style, and complement a well-crafted story." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"The drama is quiet. As always with Say, the exquisite watercolors tell an American story." Booklist, ALA
"Once again, Say practically takes one's breath away with the understated beauty of his watercolors." Publishers Weekly
"Say reveals his considerable talent which quietly and effectively draws readers into each of the scenes depicted. A wholly satisfying story.
School Library Journal, Starred
"Say's watercolor paintings, embracing the many moods of the natural world, . . . really command attention. Readers will feel that they have been on their own journey of discovery." Horn Book
"Say's watercolor paintings, embracing the many moods of the natural world, . . . really command attention. Readers will feel that they have been on their own journey of discovery." Horn Book Guide
"A gently unsettling tale of the power of the imagination."and#8212;The Horn Book, starred review
"Say is at the height of his artistic achievement in this tale of a little boy named Jiro and the powerful impact that a story has on him....This is a beautiful, moving, quietly mysterious read, ripe with possibilities for interpretation and contemplation."and#8212;Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Caldecott Medalist Say (Grandfather's Journey), his work always painstaking and poignant, ventures tentatively into the realm of fantasy....Pale colors and expanses of empty space contribute to the feeling of haunted charm. Did Jiro dream? Possiblyand#8212;or possibly not."and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred reviewand#160;
"Multilayered and compelling."and#8212;The Bulletin
Praise for other Allen Say books:
"Aficionados of Sayand#8217;s tranquil work will find both the message and the delivery deeply satisfying."and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review and#160; Kamishibai Man
"The quietly dramatic, beautifully evocative, tale contains a cliffhanger of its own, along with exquisite art in the style of Kamishibai picture cards that will attract even the most jaded kid away from the TV screen to enjoy a good, good book."and#8212;Booklist, starred review and#160; Tea with Milk
"A thoughtful and poignant book that will appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly our nationand#8217;s many immigrants who grapple with some of the same challenges as May and Joseph, including feeling at home in a place that is not their own."and#8212;School Library Journal, starred review and#160; Tree of Cranes
"Tree of Cranes is the achievement of a master in his prime, one of the best picture books of this or any year."and#8212;The Horn Book, starred review and#160; The Sign Painter
"In perhaps his best work to date . . . Say subtly and ingeniously blends a feeling of nostalgia with a hard-hitting immediacy. . . The images and the boyand#8217;s passion as an artist will remain with [readers]."and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review and#160; Grandfatherand#8217;s Journey
Winner of the Caldecott Medal and#160; "Flawless in his executions, Say has chronicled three generations of a family whose hearts have been divided between two nations."and#8212;School Library Journal, starred review
"Allen Say retells a classic makura -- a short story told in Japanese joke houses to warm up the audience -- with the sharpness, vigor and timing of a stand-up comic." Publishers Weekly
"Say here enters the realm of dream--or rather, nightmare. Say's use of light and dark has a haunting effect...the images create an internal logic of their own, as emotionally convincing as any waking experience." Publishers Weekly, Starred
"Say's use of darkness in the portrayal of childhood innocence is a poignant interpretation of what children, whatever their culture, must feel when so tiny and scared and far from where they long to be." The Los Angeles Times
"What Say does so successfully here is to show how displaced children feel; how, through some unnamed strength, they manage to survive and find their way home....The story's real focus is not so much the re-examination of America's historical past as the recollection of its emotional past -- a past we become a part of through Allen Say's intense dreamscape." The New York Times Book Review
"An impressive creation, to be appreciated on many levels." Publishers Weekly, Starred
"In cogent prose and affecting paintings, Say distills the creative life of a young child. . . . This is a stunning springboard for discussion about artistic inspiration and the creative process with groups of all ages." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This haunting story exposes the agony caused by American attitudes towards aging and differences." School Library Journal, Starred
In this special anniversary edition with a new introduction and downloadable audio of his Caldecott-winning classic, Allen Say gives us a poignant acount of a family's unique cross-cultural experience in America and Japan. He warmly conveys his own love for his two countries, and the strong and constant desire to be in both places at once.
A 20th anniversary edition to commemorate Allen Say's beloved classic. In 1993, Allen Say first delivered this account of his familys cross-cultural experience of Japan and America. In the years since its publication, this beloved Caldecott-winning picture book has become a modern classic for readers all over the world. Through compelling reminiscences of his grandfather's life in America and Japan, Allen Say gives us a poignant acount of a family's unique cross-cultural experience. He warmly conveys his own love for his two countries, and the strong and constant desire to be in both places at once. Illustrated with exquisite watercolor paintings, intimate and memorable, the anniversary edition of Grandfathers Journey celebrates Allen Says most personal and enduring picture yet of the bridges between two worlds. A new introduction written by Allen Say and downloadable audio are included.
When he was a young man, Allen Sayand#8217;s grandfather left his home in Japan to explore the world. He began his journey by crossing the Pacific Ocean on a steamship, then wandered the deserts, farmlands, and cities of North America. Allen Say lovingly tells the story of his own familyand#8217;s cross-cultural history in elegant watercolor paintings that earned him a Caldecott Medal in 1994. This twentieth-anniversary gift edition of the modern classic features downloadable audio and a new introduction by Allen Say.
As a young Japanese boy recovers from a bad chill, his mother busily folds origami paper into delicate silver cranes in preparation for the boy's very first Christmas.
In his Caldecott acceptance speech for GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, Allen Say told of his difficulty in separating his dreams from reality. For him this separation was not as important as finding a meaning behind the contradictions and choices we all must make in life and their consequences.
Early one morning a boy comes into town, hungry, and looking for work. He meets a sign painter who takes him on as a helper. The boy yearns to be a painter. The man offers him security.
The two are commissioned to paint a series of billboards in the desert. Each billboard has one word, Arrowstar. They do not know its meaning. As they are about to paint the last sign, the boy looks up and sees in the distance a magnificent structure. Is it real? They go to find out.
Through a simple text and extraordinary paintings, the reader learns of the temptation of safe choices and the uncertainties of following a personal dream. Here Allen Say tells a haunting and provocative story of dreams and choices for readers of all ages. and#160;This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Read-Aloud Story)
The little house first stood in the country, but gradually the city moved closer and closer.
Over seventy years ago, Virginia Lee Burton built the Little House way out in the country,
and since then generations of readers have been enchanted by the story of this happy
home and her journey from bucolic hill and the pleasures of nature to the bustling
city, and back again.
This special edition features a brand-new introduction by Virginia Lee Burtonandrsquo;s son, noted sculptor Aris
Demetrios; a bonus audio CD of the story; and a foil treatment on the jacket. This
beautiful and timeless picture book is sure to be a favorite among readers for the next
seventy years, and beyond.
When Allison tries on the red kimono her grandmother has sent her, she is suddenly aware that she resembles her favorite doll more than she does her mother and father. When her parents try to explain that she is adopted, her world becomes an uncomfortable place. She becomes angry and withdrawn. She wonders why she was given up, what her real name is, and whether other children have parents in faraway countries. Allison's doll becomes her only solace until she finds a stray cat in the garden and learns the true meaning of adoption and parental love.
At home in San Francisco, May speaks Japanese and the family eats rice and miso soup and drinks green tea. When she visits her friends' homes, she eats fried chicken and spaghetti. May plans someday to go to college and live in an apartment of her own. But when her family moves back to Japan, she soon feels lost and homesick for America. In Japan everyone calls her by her Japanese name, Masako. She has to wear kimonos and sit on the floor. Poor May is sure that she will never feel at home in this country. Eventually May is expected to marry and a matchmaker is hired. Outraged at the thought, May sets out to find her own way in the big city of Osaka. With elegant watercolors reminiscent of Grandfather's Journey, Allen Say has created a moving tribute to his parents and their path to discovering where home really is. The accompanying story of his mother and her journey as a young woman is heartfelt. Vividly portraying the graceful formality of Japan, Tea with Milk effectively captures th
Through compelling reminiscences of his grandfather's life in America and Japan, Allen Say gives us a poignant acount of a family's unique cross-cultural experience. He warmly conveys his own love for his two countries, and the strong and constant desire to be in both places at once. Winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal.
Lyrical, breathtaking, splendid—words used to describe Allen Says Grandfathers Journey when it was first published. At once deeply personal yet expressing universally held emotions, this tale of one mans love for two countries and his constant desire to be in both places captured readers attention and hearts. Winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal, it remains as historically relevant and emotionally engaging as ever.
A little boy takes a fantasy trip up the river by his house to fly-fish with his uncle.
A true story of Billy Wong, the first Chinese bullfighter.
Thirteen-year-old Kiyoi, an apprentice to the famous cartoonist, Noro Shinpei, tries to develop his talent and become self-reliant, in this novel based upon the author's own boyhood in Japan.
The amazing tricks two American soldiers perform on a borrowed bicycle are a fitting finale for the school sports day festivities in a small village in occupied Japan.
A 30th anniversaryand#160;giftand#160;editionand#160;to celebrate the majesty and mystery of The Wreck of the Zephyr that includes a bonus digital audio file to download, read by Chris Van Allsburg.
The Kamishibai man used to ride his bicycle into town where he would tell stories to the children and sell them candy, but gradually, fewer and fewer children came running at the sound of his clappers. They were all watching their new televisions instead. Finally, only one boy remained, and he had no money for candy. Years later, the Kamishibai man and his wife made another batch of candy, and he pedaled into town to tell one more storyand#151;his own. When he comes out of the reverie of his memories, he looks around to see he is surrounded by familiar facesand#151;the children he used to entertain have returned, all grown up and more eager than ever to listen to his delightful tales.
Using two very different yet remarkable styles of art, Allen Say tells a tale within a tale, transporting readers seamlessly to the Japan of his memories.
Caldecott Medalist Allen Say creates a beautiful story about an American girl who seeks adventure in Japan and discovers more than she could have imagined.
In her grandmothers house there is one Japanese print of a small house with lighted windows. Even as a small girl, Erika loved that picture.
It will pull her through childhood, across vast oceans and modern cities, then into townsolder, quieter placesshe has only ever dreamed about.
But Erika cannot truly know what she will find there, among the rocky seacoasts, the rice paddies, the circle of mountains, and the class of children.
For Erika-san, can Japan be all that she has imagined?
Lazy Taro gets his comeuppance when his wise mother uses his trick to avoid work to her own advantage.
As a girl, Alice loved to dance, but the rhythms of her life offered little opportunity for a foxtrot, let alone a waltz. World War II erupted soon after she was married. Alice and her husband, along with many other Japanese Americans, were forced to leave their homes and report to assembly centers around the country. Undaunted, Alice and her husband learned to make the most of every circumstance, from their stall in the old stockyard in Portland to the decrepit farm in the Oregon desert, with its field of stones. Like a pair of skilled dancers, they sidestepped adversity to land gracefully amid golden opportunity. Together they turned a barren wasteland into a field of endless flowers. Such achievements did not come without effort and sacrifice, though, and Alice often thought her dancing days were long behind her. But as her story testifies, life is full of changes . . .
In this striking book, Allen Say introduces readers to the remarkable story of the life of a woman whose perseverance and resilience serve as an inspirational reminder that dreams can be fulfilled, even when least expected.
Luke and his father, who is disgusted by the tourists surrounding the once secluded lake of his childhood, hike deeper into the wilderness to find a "lost lake" of their own.
There was a story that Mama read to Jiro:
Once, in old Japan, a young woodcutter lived
alone in a little cottage. One winter day he
found a crane struggling in a snare and set it
When Jiro looks out the window into Mr. Ozuand#8217;s
garden, he sees a crane and remembers
Much like the crane, the legend comes to
lifeand#8212;and, suddenly, Jiro finds himself in a
world woven between dream and reality.
Which is which?
Allen Say creates a tale about many things
at once: the power of story, the allure of
the imagined, and the gossamer line between
truth and fantasy. For who among us hasnand#8217;t
imagined ourselves in our own favorite
Spring had finally come and everyone in the village was happy, despite being poor - everyone except the miserly landlord. Mumbling and grumbling, he sat all alone eating a bowl of cherries and glaring as the villagers sang and danced in the meadow. Then, quite by accident, he swallowed a cherry pit. The pit began to sprout. Soon the landlord was the wonder of the village - a cherry tree was growing on top of his head! What happened to the cherry tree and to the wicked landlord is a favorite joke in Japan. Allen Say tells the story with wit and vitality, and his beautiful drawings complement this classic Japanese tale.
In dreamlike sequences, a man symbolically confronts the trauma of his familyand#8217;s incarceration in the Japanese internment camps during World War II. This infamous event is made emotionally clear through his meeting a group of children all with strange name tags pinned to their coats. The man feels the helplessness of the children. Finally, desperately he releases the name tags like birds into the air to find their way home with the hope for a time when Americans will be seen as one peopleand#151;not judged, mistrusted, or segregated because of their individual heritage.
Sixty years after thousands of Japanese Americans were unjustly imprisoned, the cogent prose and haunting paintings of renowned author and illustrator Allen Say remind readers of a dark chapter in Americaand#8217;s history.
Emma is a gifted young artist whose most prized possession is a small, shaggy rug. When her mother accidentally puts the rug in the washing machine and destroys it, Emma is devastated and ceases her art.
One morning eight-year-old Martin looks in the mirror and sees a stranger. Overnight, he has changed. His parents take him to one doctor after another, only to be told that there is nothing wrong with their son. At school his teacher asks, "What have we here, trick or treat?" His classmates will not play with him. At home his family tries to treat him as if he were the same child. But things now are different. Martin has grown very old in the space of one day. His world will never be the same again.
About the Author
Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of six, and, at age twelve, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four years, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction of Noro, who has remained Say's mentor. Say illustrated his first children's book -- published in 1972 -- in a photo studio between shooting assignments. For years, Say continued writing and illustrating children's books on a part-time basis. But in 1987, while illustrating THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (Caldecott Honor Medal), he recaptured the joy he had known as a boy working in his master's studio. It was then that Say decided to make a full commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children's books. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including TREE OF CRANES and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. He is a full-time writer and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.