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Drawing From Memory

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  • Drawing From Memory 
    Title: Drawing From Memory
    Author: SAY ALLEN
    Format: HARDCOVER
    Publication date: 01/09/2011
    Imprint: SCHOLASTIC
    Price: $32.00
    Publishing status: Active

    Caldecott Medalist Say ("Grandfather's Journey") presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during World War II, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan's premier cartoonist.

    Publishers Weekly (06/20/2011):
    Retooling some of the material in his autobiographical middle-grade novel The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice (1994), Say tells the story of his decidedly nontraditional Japanese upbringing, supplying watercolors, photographs, and humorous sketches to create a vivid record of life in postwar Tokyo. Say's family rented him his own apartment when he was 12 so he could attend a better school. "The one-room apartment was for me to study in," he writes, beneath a b&w sketch of his desk, "but studying was far from my mind... this was going to be my art studio!" (A second drawing, in color, shows his conception of the perfect desk, covered with paints and brushes.) Japan's most famous cartoonist, Noro Shinpei, accepted Say as an apprentice until Say immigrated to the United States in 1953. Say's account of his relationship with Noro (who later called Say "the treasure of my life") is the centerpiece of the narrative. As the story of a young artist's coming of age, Say's account is complex, poignant, and unfailingly honest. Say's fansand those who also feel the pull of the artist's lifewill be captivated. Ages 10up. (Sept.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

    Kirkus Reviews (07/15/2011):
    Exquisite drawings, paintings, comics and photographs balance each other perfectly as they illustrate Say's childhood path to becoming an artist.
    Although its story overlaps with The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice (1979), this visual chronicle is a fresh new wonder. It opens with a soft watercolor map of Japan on the left, framed in a rectangle, while on the right is a delicate, full-bleed watercolor of Yokohama's seashore and fishing village, with two black-and-white photographs pasted on: Say as a child, and the stone beach wall. The early arc takes readers from Say's 1937 birth, through family moves to escape 1941 bombings and then Say's nigh-emancipation at age 12, when his mother supported him in his own Tokyo apartment. The one-room apartment "was for me to study in, but studying was far from my mind... this was going to be my art studio!" The art table's drawer handle resembles a smile. Happily apprenticing with famous cartoonist Noro Shinpei, Say works dedicatedly on comic panels, still-lifes and life drawing. Nothing—not political unrest, not U.S. occupation, not paternal disapproval—derails his singular goal of becoming a cartoonist. Shinpei's original comics are reproduced here, harmonizing with Say's own art from that time and the graphic-novel–style panels, drawings and paintings created for this book.
    Aesthetically superb; this will fascinate comics readers and budding artists while creating new Say fans. (author's note) (Graphic memoir. 10 & up)(COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

    Booklist (08/01/2011):
    Grades 4-7 *Starred Review* Say, a Caldecott Medalwinning picture-book creator, returns to his most fertile groundtrue lifeto tell the story of how he became an artist. He began living alone when he was 12, paying a little attention to schoolwork and a lot of attention to drawing, a pursuit that flourished under the mentorship of his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. His narrative is fascinating, winding through formative early-teen experiences in Japan as he honed his skills and opened his eyes to the greater world around him. This heavily illustrated autobiography features Say's characteristically strong artwork. The visually stunning sequences include a standout scene in which the young artist and a friend stumble upon a massive demonstration, which is depicted as a huge crowd of people that snakes down one page and is stopped short by a brick wall of police on the next. The scrapbook format features photographs, many of them dim with age; sketchbook drawings; and unordered, comic-book-style panels that float around wide swathes of text and unboxed captions, and the overall effect is sometimes disjointed. Still, as a portrait of a young artist, this is a powerful title that is both culturally and personally resonant.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

    Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks (09/01/2011):
    Caldecott-winning artist Allen Say has often drawn on his own family history in his books, but here for the first time he recounts his story directly, chronicling his youth in Japan and especially his artistic education both at school and in his apprenticeship with the noted cartoonist Noro Shinpei. He writes of growing up in wartime and post-war Japan ("When the war ended . . . everything was broken"), of a family that disapproved of his passion for art, and of his determination to pursue it nonetheless, even to the point of boldly approaching his idol and asking for tutelage. It's a fascinating story, filled with startling developments (Say's being put up alone in a Tokyo apartment at the age of twelve, his becoming the model for a cartoon character in his master's popular cartoons) but also the ebb and flow of young life-talented classmates, inspiring teachers, girls that one likes from afar, knowing no other way. There's a thoughtful, measured quality to Say's modest storytelling, but it's never dry; compact, simple sentences convey an existence teeming with human interaction (even from afar, his father exerts an influence) and human endeavor as the young boy develops his artistic skills. The narrative is as visual as it is textual, with period photographs, art from Say's youth, and occasional images from his books joining forces with new illustrations that document his past in clean-lined graphic-novel-styled panel art. While this will obviously appeal to fans of Say's books, young artists in general will warm to the account of artistic apprenticeship, and those who enjoyed Lat's Kampung Boy (BCCB 1/07) may also appreciate this strongly visual account of youth in a very different time and place. A closing note talks more about Noro Shinpei and Say's relationship with him. DS

    Horn Book Magazine (09/01/2011):
    Covering roughly the same period as the artist's autobiographical novel The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice (rev. 6/79), this rendering of Say's adolescence takes the form of an album, with text, photographs, drawings, and paintings all enlisted to convey events. At the center of the book, as before, is Say's relationship with his sensei, Noro Shinpei, a popular cartoonist in postwar Japan who took Say on as an apprentice when the boy was only thirteen. Say includes several of his teacher's cartoons in this book, which is harmoniously designed to allow the great variety of images room to work together without crowding. For example, in a sequence illustrating the riot in which Say and fellow student Tokida find themselves, a tidy ink-and-watercolor sketch of the orderly student demonstration is followed by an ominous painting, all blacks and grays, of the waiting police, with a concluding gestural ink sketch of the clash between the two groups. Throughout, you can see canny artistic choices being made -- color here, monochrome there, a cartoon, a snapshot -- that reinforce content with appropriate form. Where The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice was an intense and often gritty portrait of an awakening artist, Drawing from Memory is more discreet and rather more recollected in tranquility, placing a coming-of-age story within the context of a long life and vocation. roger sutton(Copyright 2011 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

    School Library Journal (09/01/2011):
    Gr 4 Up—Say tells the story of how he became an artist through a vibrant blend of words and images. Beginning with his boyhood in World War II-era Japan, he traces his life-changing relationship with Noro Shinpei, an illustrious cartoonist who became his surrogate father figure and art mentor. Illustrations are richly detailed and infused with warmth. Exquisite use of light makes night scenes glow, and the mid-20th-century Tokyo setting is captured with vivid authenticity. A variety of media and artistic styles, including full-color paintings, black-and-white sketches, photographs, and comic-book panels, adds texture and depth to the narrative. Fans of the artist's work will take particular delight in seeing sketches from his student days. Simple, straightforward sentences and a conversational narration in combination with a wealth of images will appeal to aspiring artists and reluctant readers alike. This book covers much of the same material as Say's autobiographical novel, "The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice" (Harper & Row, 1979), but the lively mix of art and text will draw in a new generation and a slightly younger audience. The somewhat abrupt ending, with Say moving to the United States, may leave readers wishing for a more extended epilogue or sequel, but that is simply because his story is so engaging. Readers of all ages will be inspired by the young Say's drive and determination that set him on a successful career path.—"Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA" Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.



    Brief Description:
    "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"--

    Publisher Marketing:
    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.






    ISBN: 9780545176866
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