Drawing from Memory
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 b
This book is marvelous, resplendent, and really special. I have no adequate words to do it justice.
The last line almost got me crying with emotion but the entire book was superb.
It’s a completely absorbing life story, a wonderful...more
While all of his books stem from his lifetime experiences, Drawing from Memory is Say’s first autobiographical work focused on how he became an artist. Born in Yokohama, Japan in 1937, he was taught by his mother to rea...more
Allen Say uses photographs, cartoons, paintings, and of course, words to illustrate an autobiographical look at his early years as an artist.
When was the last time you met a twelve-year-old who lived on his own in an apartment in a huge city? Probably never, right? Well that was real life for Allen Say.
Say had always known that he loved to draw, even when it was to the detriment of his school work and strongly discouraged by his own father. But when his grandmother told him that he...more
It is three things:
1) An autobiography of Allen Say's early life, from the age of 4 until he left Japan as a teenager
2) A book about living your dream, no matter how impractical the rest of the world says it is
3) A book about life as an artist, in postwar Japan
The text is relatively brief, interspersed with short graphic segments, drawings and photographs, including work by his mentor Noro Shinpei, a revered cartoonist in Japan in t...more
The thing I liked most about this is how he integrates photographs, his own illustrations in a variety of styles, text, and other people's illustrations. It's not quite a graphic novel (except for maybe one page). It's not quite a picture book. It's almost...more
Genre: Biography-Graphic Novel
Discussion Questions: Remembering: Who were the main characters? Understanding: Explain why the story has the title it does. Applying: Think about when the main character was offered the option to move into an apartment on his own. What would you have done in that situation? Analyzing: What is the relationship between the main character and his father? How does this relationship evolve over the course of the story? Evaluating: In your opinion w...more
It's also made me extremely intereste...more
*Taken from my book reviews blog: htt...more
Summary: A concise memoir that details the life of Allen Say as he spent his childhood in Japan during WWII, went through the divorce of his parents, and sought to fulfill his dream of becoming an artist.
Curriculum Connection: History seems like an obvious curriculum connection with the time period being WWII Japan and art too - it'd be fun to have the kids draw their own comic strip after looking at some like Calvin Hobbs or Peanuts. Looking at the Japanes...more
Age Range: 5th-8th Grade
Summary: Drawing from Memory is a graphic novel that follows Allen Say's journey to becoming an artist under the guiding eye of Noro Shinpei.
Curriculum Connection: I would have the students read this book and paying particular attention to the artistic style and storyline of the graphic novel. I would have the students create their own short graphic novel using an app on the iPads.
Opinion: I don't really read graphic novels, so this was really my firs...more
2. Intended age range: Grades 3-5
3. Summary: This is a novel that is based on the life of Allen Say and what he went through to become an artist, a dream that was made possible under the guidance of Noro Shinpei, a Japanese cartoonist. The novel chronicles his life from his childhood in Japan during World War II all the way to his dream of becoming an artist coming to fruition.
4. Curriculum connection: This would be a great book to develop a lesson plan involving art and h...more
Summary: Allen Say uses a scrapbook-like style combined with a comic book style to illustrate his own personal journey as an artist that studied under the ranking Japanese cartoonist Noro Shinpei.
Curriculum connection: Students practice their writing skills by using Say's style to tell a story of their own.
Reaction: I don't usually seek out graphic novels on my own, however I enjoyed Say's unique style of story-telling and learning about his life experie...more
Allen Say’s life will prove unusual to most young readers but should be interesting to many readers, both boys and girls. At age 12 Say moved into a small apartment in Tokyo where he lived alone although the apartment was paid for by his mother and grandmother. He was in m...more
Worth saying that my former 12 year old budding artist husband is over the moon about this book.
This is an outstanding book with many details on a Japanese artist's journey through the art world during World War 2. As long as you don't have any trouble following in a pool of memories and details, this is a book for you! Anyone can read this book and have no problem! I finished in a day and I wish I hadn't because it was such an interesting and touching story about a man who dreams big, and achieves greatly!
1. Who were the main characters?
2. Explain why the story has the title it has.
3. What would result if Kiyoi hadn't been so brave to go to the office of Noro Shinpei and ask to be his assistent?
4. What is the relationship between Kiyoi and his father, mother, and grandmother?
5. What choices would you have made if you were in Kiyoi's position?
6. How would you re-write the story from Tokida's point of view?
Text to world: This story reminds me of all of the immigrant stories I hav...more