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Grandfathers Journey
by Allen Say
Book Jacket
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780395570357 Ages 5 and up. Say won the Caldecott Medal for this autobiographical story of his grandfather's journey from Japan to the U.S. It is a version of the American dream that includes discovery and adventure but no sense of arrival. He gets our homesickness, our restlessness, wherever we are.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780395570357 Say transcends the achievements of his Tree of Cranes and A River Dream with this breathtaking picture book, at once a very personal tribute to his grandfather and a distillation of universally shared emotions. Elegantly honed text accompanies large, formally composed paintings to convey Say's family history; the sepia tones and delicately faded colors of the art suggest a much-cherished and carefully preserved family album. A portrait of Say's grandfather opens the book, showing him in traditional Japanese dress, ``a young man when he left his home in Japan and went to see the world.'' Crossing the Pacific on a steamship, he arrives in North America and explores the land by train, by riverboat and on foot. One especially arresting, light-washed painting presents Grandfather in shirtsleeves, vest and tie, holding his suit jacket under his arm as he gazes over a prairie: ``The endless farm fields reminded him of the ocean he had crossed.'' Grandfather discovers that ``the more he traveled, the more he longed to see new places,'' but he nevertheless returns home to marry his childhood sweetheart. He brings her to California, where their daughter is born, but her youth reminds him inexorably of his own, and when she is nearly grown, he takes the family back to Japan. The restlessness endures: the daughter cannot be at home in a Japanese village; he himself cannot forget California. Although war shatters Grandfather's hopes to revisit his second land, years later Say repeats the journey: ``I came to love the land my grandfather had loved, and I stayed on and on until I had a daughter of my own.'' The internal struggle of his grandfather also continues within Say, who writes that he, too, misses the places of his childhood and periodically returns to them. The tranquility of the art and the powerfully controlled prose underscore the profundity of Say's themes, investing the final line with an abiding, aching pathos: ``The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other.'' Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395570357 Fiction: I am homesick for the other. I think I know my grandfather now."""" The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked as it is in this direct Age: lyrical narrative Say's grandfather travels throughout North America as a young man but, unable to forget his homeland, returns to Japan with his family, where the author is born. Say now lives in California and returns to his native land from time to time. Horn Rating: Outstanding, noteworthy in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: The funny thing is (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780545127080 Gr 1-4-Allen Say's beautifully written Caldecott Award-winning memoir of his grandfather's life (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) is treated with care in this expressive production. His grandfather traveled as a young man, finding beauty wherever he went and eventually settled in California. His love for Japan, however, soon called him to return to the land of his birth. Yet, through war and change, a part of him still loved California. The author chronicles the birth of his mother and of himself. California is now his home but, like his grandfather, he feels the tug of his Japanese heritage as well. This lovely circular story about family and tradition embraces the concept of home in a way that many immigrants will understand. The poignant story is nicely narrated by B. D. Wong. The original music by Ernest V. Troost begins with a Japanese flavor, but adopts a slightly more Western tone as the story progresses, beautifully complementing the text. Say's lovely watercolor illustrations, created like a family album, are scanned iconographically creating a feeling of movement. The production concludes with a 2008 interview with the author where viewers can learn more about his life as well as how the book was created. The CD contains the sound track from the DVD. This is an exceptional program that calls to the heart.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780395570357 Ages 4 and up. See Focus p.1974.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780395570357 Gr 3 Up-A personal history of three generations of the author's family that points out the emotions that are common to the immigrant experience. Splendid, photoreal watercolors have the look of formal family portraits or candid snapshots, all set against idyllic landscapes in Japan and in the U.S. (Sept., 1993) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. 9780395570357 ``The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other,'' observes Say near the end of this poignant account of three generations of his family's moves between Japan and the US. Say's grandfather came here as a young man, married, and lived in San Francisco until his daughter was ``nearly grown'' before returning to Japan; his treasured plan to visit the US once again was delayed, forever as it turned out, by WW II. Say's American-born mother married in Japan (cf. Tree of Cranes, 1991), while he, born in Yokohama, came here at 16. In lucid, graceful language, he chronicles these passages, reflecting his love of both countries--plus the expatriate's ever-present longing for home--in both simple text and exquisitely composed watercolors: scenes of his grandfather discovering his new country and returning with new appreciation to the old, and pensive portraits recalling family photos, including two evoking the war and its aftermath. Lovely, quiet- -with a tenderness and warmth new to this fine illustrator's work. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4+)
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780544050501 As a young man, Say's grandfather travels throughout America, eventually returning to Japan. Say, who lived in California when he wrote this book, finds "the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other. I think know my grandfather now." The immigrant experience has rarely been so poignantly evoked as it is in this narrative, accompanied by soft-toned watercolors. This edition includes a one-page introduction by the author. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780395570357 Ages 6^-8, older for reading alone. Winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal, this is an exquisitely illustrated account of the restless journey of an early Japanese American immigrant who came to California and always felt caught between his new home and the one he left behind.