This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
hosted today by Playing by the Book
(pub. 9.1.2011) 72 pagesA True Tale with A Cherry On Top
A uthor and illustrator: Allen Say
C haracter: himself - Caldecott Medalist Allen Say
O verview from the jacket flap:
T antalizing taste:
"This 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 World War II 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."
"'You are going to the great land of freedom,' he said. 'But remember that no man is entirely free of anything. Artists are bound to their art. Be true to your art, Kiyoi, and journey well.'
'Show them how good you are,' Tokida said, and he gave me a smile to remember.
'Good-bye, brother. Good-bye, Sensei.' I was glad they didn't look back. I was sobbing in public."
and something more: I was fascinated not only by the autobiographical story of Allen Say and his artistic journey and connections, but also by the format of Drawing From Memory -- part memoir, part graphic novel, part narrative history, complete with photographs and illustrations by Allen Say.
In the touching Author's Note, Allen Say refers to an old Japanese saying he first heard from his mother - "Let your dear child journey." I think that's so lovely, and truly a goal for me as a children's book author. And I echo the wish for all creative people, especially children's authors,"Be true to your art ... and journey well."