Drawing From Memory

Say, Allen

(Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Drawing From Memory
"Caldecott Medalist Allen Say presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during WWII, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan's premier cartoonist. DRAWING FROM MEMORY is Allen Say's own story of his path to becoming the renowned artist he is today. Shunned by his father, who didn't understand his son's artistic leanings, Allen was embraced by Noro Shinpei, Japan's leading cartoonist and the man he came to love as his "spiritual father." As WWII raged, Allen was further inspired to consider questions of his own heritage and the motivations of those around him. He worked hard in rigorous drawing classes, studied, trained--and ultimately came to understand who he really is. Part memoir, part graphic novel, part narrative history, DRAWING FROM MEMORY presents a complex look at the real-life relationship between a mentor and his student. With watercolor paintings, original cartoons, vintage photographs, and maps, Allen Say has created a book that will inspire the artist in all of us"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0545176875
Branch Call Number: j 741.64092 S2741d 2011
Characteristics: 63 p. :,ill., map ;,28 cm


From Library Staff

A memoir of Say's coming of age as an artist.

"Caldecott Medalist Allen Say presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during WWII, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan’s premier cartoonist."-Novelist

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Children’s author/illustration Allen Say looks back on the path his life has taken, from being shunned by his father for his desire to draw, to being taken in as a pupil by Japan’s leading cartoonist, to emigrating to America at 16. Graphic novel format.

May 18, 2013
  • JCLChristiH rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this visual memoir by Allen Say which details his early development towards becoming an working artist. On the 2013-2014 William Allen White 6 - 8 Grade List.

Jun 04, 2012
  • jdraffkorn rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This was an illustrated autobiography about Allen Say's life from being a young child during WWII until he came to America as a young man. It was very interesting and obviously well-illustrated.

Feb 04, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A kid reading this book is going to see firsthand how the decisions they make even at as young an age as twelve can affect their entire life. A memoir as well as a tribute to an old friend, Say's book fulfills its purpose so well that one can't help but hope for a sequel someday. This is nonfiction for kids at its best.

Nov 29, 2011

NYTimes Notable Children's book for 2011


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Dec 08, 2013
  • Violet_Cat_150 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Violet_Cat_150 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jun 22, 2013
  • indigo_bird_105 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

indigo_bird_105 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Feb 04, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12


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Feb 04, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Imagine that you are twelve, you have your own apartment (which your parents pay for), and you get to study comics with a master sensei. Sounds a little bit like heaven, no? Well welcome to Allen Say's world. As a boy growing up in WWII era Japan, cartoons were his life. Unfortunately they were not the kind of thing a serious young man was supposed to study. While living with his grandmother for a time, the older woman came up with a serious proposition. If he studied hard and got into the prestigious private Aoyama Middle School he would be given his own apartment and stipend for food. Young Allen leaped at the chance and before he knew it he had his own pad. Soon thereafter he read a newspaper article about a boy like himself who traveled hundreds of miles to become a cartoonist and was taken on by the great Noro Shinpei. Inspired, Allen also introduces himself to Shinpei and is taken on as well. Through this great man he learns what it truly means to make art, and when an opportunity to go to America comes up, he takes it, never forgetting the man who helped him all those years ago. The book is told through Say's own drawings, both from his past and from his memories today, as well as photographs, comic panels, sketches, and more. An Author's Note in the back explains what happened to his old sensei years and years later.


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