Synopses & Reviews
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)
"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
"Van Allsburg reaches a new pinnacle of excellence in both illustration and storytelling . . . His fable builds to an urgent plea for action as it sends a rousing message of hope."and#8212;Publishers Weekly
The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked.
Horn Book, Starred
Caldecott medalist Allen Say seamlessly weaves together dreams and reality in this story of a boy and a sign painter traveling across the country painting billboards in the desert. Sayand#8217;s awe-inspiring illustrations make this book one that should not be missed by readers of any age.
Early one morning a boy comes into town looking for work. He meets a sign painter who takes him on as a helper, and they are commissioned to paint a series of billboards in the desert. Each billboard has only 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? Together, they goand#160;to find out.
Here Allen Say tells a haunting story of dreams and choices for readers of all ages. It is a Common Core State Standardsand#160;Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Read-Aloud Story).
Young Walter litters and refuses to sort trash for recycling, until he dreams of an overcrowded and polluted future which terrifies him into taking care of the earth.
Walter is a litterbug who does not appreciate the beauty of nature, or understand his role in keeping the planet healthy . . . until a fantastic journey shows him the tragic fate that could befall Earth if humans like him are not more careful. Are Walterand#8217;s actions really helping his planet along the road to destruction, or is it all just a dream? Chris Van Allsburgand#8217;s classic story of environmental responsibility is now available in this special paperback edition with french flaps.
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.
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. Allen Say has created a moving tribute to his parents and their path to discovering where home really is.
Based on Allen Says own boyhood in Japan, The Ink-Keepers Apprentice is a rich and remarkable novel. The story of a budding artist and his steps toward self-reliance, Kiyois tale is also one of the fragile beauty of human relationships of family loyalty, of friendship, and of the special bond between a mentor and his student.
There were eggs in every birdand#8217;s nest, the air buzzed with honeybees, and cherry trees blossomed all at once. The poor villagers forgot their cares and gathered in the meadow to sing and dance their time away. But their miserly landlord refused to be happy. Mumbling and grumbling, he sat all alone eating a bowl of cherries and glaring at the merry villagers. Then, quite by accident, he swallowed a cherry pit. The pit began to sprout, and soon the landlord was the wonder of the villageand#151;a cherry tree was growing out of the 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.
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.