A beautifully illustrated story that introduces the life and work of James Castle, an artist who deserves to be a household name. Say’s illustrations do a fantastic job of showing off Castle’s work while letting his own artistic talent shine through. Recommended By Elizabeth H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Nothing stopped James Castle from becoming an artist. He had difficulty making friends, so he made them out of cardboard. He slept in a bare attic. But he filled it with visions of the cozy bed and room he longed for. They took away his art materials. So he made art from soot and paper from the trash. He could not hear and he never learned to speak. And yet he created art that speaks to us still.
This tribute to one of America's most original artists comes from the imagination of one of America's most beloved children's book illustrators, Allen Say. Together they will inspire a new generation of artists to overcome whatever obstacles they encounter.
Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say brings his lavish illustrations and hybrid narrative and artistic styles to the story of artist James Castle.
James Castle was born two months premature on September 25, 1899, on a farm in Garden Valley, Idaho. He was deaf, mute, autistic, and probably dyslexic. He didn't walk until he was four; he would never learn to speak, write, read, or use sign language.
Yet, today Castle's artwork hangs in major museums throughout the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art opened James Castle: A Retrospective in 2008. The 2013 Venice Biennale included eleven works by Castle in the feature exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace. And his reputation continues to grow.
Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say, author of the acclaimed memoir Drawing from Memory, takes readers through an imagined look at Castle's childhood, allows them to experience his emergence as an artist despite the overwhelming difficulties he faced, and ultimately reveals the triumphs that he would go on to achieve.
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 12, 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, winner of the 1989 Caldecott Honor, 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 Grandfather's Journey, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal, Tree of Cranes, Allison, and most recently Tea With Milk, The Sign Painter, and Home of the Brave.