Monday, December 5, 2011

Drawing From Memory

Drawing From Memory by Allen Say
Scholastic Press, September 2011. 63 pages.

Parents will want to choose this biography of Allen Say for children who may not choose this for themselves. Drawing From Memory introduces children to three important Japanese artists, Allen Say (called Kiyoi), Tokida, and Noro Shinpei who was their teacher (sensei).

Children will learn about Japanese history, Japanese culture, and cartooning, as well as the value of persistence and hard work. Sketches, drawings, and photographs illustrate the text. The title comes from Say's unique ability to draw people from memory. He draws, for instance, his teacher's first wife, Masako, who dies young. The title also has a double-meaning--to draw can also mean to pull something out from the deep well of memory.

Say, who at 13 convinces acclaimed artist Shinpei to take him as a student, has a unique story that will intrigue both young and older readers alike.