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Kamishibai Man

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  309 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The Kamishibai man used to ride his bicycle into town where he would tell stories to the children and sell them candy, but gradually, fewer and fewer children came running at the sound of his clappers. They were all watching their new televisions instead. Finally, only one boy remained, and he had no money for candy. Years later, the Kamishibai man and his wife made anothe ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 24th 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 28th 2005)
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Instruction Manual for the 21st Century Samurai by Alexei Maxim RussellKamishibai Man by Allen SayThe Pillow Book  of Sei Shonagon by Sei ShōnagonThe Tale of Genji by Murasaki ShikibuThe Confessions of Lady Nijō by Lady Nijō
2nd out of 164 books — 37 voters
Grandfather's Journey by Allen SayEmma's Rug by Allen SayYotsuba&!, Vol. 01 by Kiyohiko AzumaTea with Milk by Allen SayKamishibai Man by Allen Say
Favorite Children Books
5th out of 36 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Jan 17, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids who enjoy listening to stories; budding storytellers and artists
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
This is a wonderful story of a Kamishibai Man (a storyteller who uses storytelling paper cards & sells candy) who goes back to work because he misses it. I was fascinated to learn about this Japanese tradition; I’d never heard of it. The afterword, which is written by a Japanese folklore scholar, greatly added to my enjoyment of this story.

The whole story and its afterword have a melancholy feel, but there are some very uplifting aspects included. There is a fascinating author’s note at the
I LOVED this book! One of my favorites of 2010. I was absolutely fascinated to learn about the kamishibai tradition. This story is not only interesting it is so deeply human, so poignant and wise with its gentle, subtle telling. The author's note is fabulous as it explains a lot more of the history of this tradition of Japanese theater and that, although the kamishibai men have all but disappeared from the streets of Japan, the tradition has left an indelible mark on Japanese entertainment. And, ...more
I feel disadvantaged after reading this book. I must call my mom and ask her why she never exposed me to kamishibai (paper theater)…lol, but seriously growing up after the invention of TV has probably limited my potential in immense ways. Okay, back to the book…Say’s illustrations are beautiful and I enjoyed how his format seems to parallel or symbolize a kamishibai. This is definitely a great choice for a read aloud as Say unravels a remarkable story about a storyteller. Perhaps the most remark ...more
Another wonderful story by Allen Say. Kamishibai, Japanese picture stories, is an art form with its roots in Kabuki theater. It was a way for poor people to make a meager living when times were hard, especially following WWII. A Kamishibai stage was easily transportable by bicycle and the performer told stories and sold candy to make a meager living. Eventually, television, and more prosperous times, all but put the Kamishibai performers out of business. Manga and anime comic books trace their r ...more
NS - Cami Houston
This book was written about a man who lives in Japan who is now elderly. He and his wife never had any children. The man would ride his bike to town, tell stories to the children, show colorful picture cards, and give away candies that his wife would bake for the children in the oven. The book is unique in that it doesn't begin at the beginning. It begins at a point where the old man had given up story telling, but years later had begun to miss it. Deciding one day to take a ride into town on hi ...more
I was introduced to Allen Say's work by the 2nd grade teachers at my school. I'm trying to read more historical fiction because it is something that I normally shy away from. After I saw my colleagues do a lesson on one of his other books (My Grandfather's Journey), I decided to read more of his work. I like how he uses elements from his family's history to teach us about the history of Japanese-Americans as a whole.

This particular Allen Say book is centered around a tradition from his childhood
Jan 31, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful story about a dying art and the practitioners of this art. The story shows an old man returning to his old stomping grounds to peform his shows. His popular form of entertainment lost favor to television and other electronic media, but his return brought back feelings of nostalgia and fond remembrances of an older time.

The narrative is poignantly entertaining and the historical aspects of the story were enlightening. We all learned a little something about Japanese life in t
Allen Say's Kamishibai Man is a true literary and artistic marvel. From the simple yet detailed illustrations to the flowing and nostalgia rendering text, this book, quite frankly, comes to life in the reader's hands... Set in post-World War II Japan, Kamishibai Man tells the tale of the long-held tradition of oral storytelling using picture boards, a mobile cart as a rolling 'theater', along with drawers of homemade candies for enticement. Like many parents and teachers in the twenty-first cen ...more
This is one of our favorite picture books. I get a little teary-eyed reading it aloud.
The author is of Japanese and Korean parentage, and spent some of his childhood in Yokohama, so his pictures and story reflect his cultural awareness.
This picture book shows how the arrival of television to post-war Japan spelled the end of the traveling storyteller called Kamishibai Man. The afterword (written by a St. Paul's graduate) explains how in the period of rapid economic growth, the Kamishibai was
NS-Christine Johnson
Long ago in Japan, before televisions, children were entertained by the stories of the kamishibai man. He would travel through town on his bike and show picture cards while all of the children gathered around. He sold them candy and they visited him every day to hear his stories. One day, the children stopped coming. They stayed indoors and watched television instead of going to hear the stories of the kamishibai man. He stops going on his rounds, until one day many years later when he decides t ...more
Chloey Jones
A heart warming story of an elderly man who was once know as the Kamishibai man to all of the local children. One day he decides to try and return to his line of duty and truck back into the city on his old back which he hasn't visited in quite sometime. Taken back by all of the new technology the city had to offer, the elderly man began remembering his prime years when children loved when he came into town. Just as we was about to head home devastated he turns around after hearing an old famil ...more
The story was about a kamishibai man that used to go into town and show the kids stories and sell them candy. In the beginning of the story, the man was leaving his home and told his wife he’ll return. He was biking into town as a big truck drove behind him and honked at him. The old man then began to think that the town has changed how there are now more cars and they used to be friendly and that there were different buildings that used to not be there before. Then it told the story about how t ...more
Stephanie Winchester
Kamishibai Man is the extraordinary tale of an old man and woman who sell candy and tell stories for a living during a depression in Japan. This story was written and illustrated by Allen Say and details the life of a Kamishibai. One day the old man decides to start selling candies again and his wife makes him candies to sell in town. He rides his bike to town only to find that the little town has turned into a city. Eventually, television is introduced and the people that watch him tell stories ...more
This was an interesting story about a Japanese man recollecting his past as a Kamishibai man- a storyteller. Say's ethnic heritage is evident throughout the book. It's an interesting look at the culture, but it's not my favorite of Say's books.

North Carolina Children's Book Award, 2007; Nominee
Best Children's Books of the Year, 2005 Bank Street College of Education
Booklist Book Review Stars , Sep. 15, 2005 American Library Association
Booklist Top 10 Art Books for Youth, 2005 American Library As
Say, A. Kamishibai Man. New York: Houghton Mifflin (2005).

Kamishibai Man is about an old man in Japan who was a Kamishibai man, which meant that he carried a box of pictures that he would place in a small window and then would tell the story of the picture to children. The old man no longer has this job because of the invention of the television. However, as he is wandering around town one day he runs into the children he used to tell the story to, but they are now grown up. The grown children a
Rusty Gregory
"Not so long ago in Japan, in a small house on a hillside, there lived an old man and his wife."

This is a nice quiet book with beautiful illustrations. The story is emotional in a quiet way. What a life, telling stories and selling candy. It was very interesting to read about Kamishibai in Japan. The illustrations are very well done.

Hayle Lincoln
Kamishibai Man was a great book! This book told a good story, and I think many children would enjoy this story. The aspect that I enjoyed most from this book were the creative illustrations, because they were so creative. Even though this story took place in Japan (p. 4) I wouldn’t say that the book was filled with cultural details. At the beginning of the book it is printed that “Jiichan” means grandpa, and “Baachan” means grandma, (p. 4) which are the names used throughout the story when refer ...more
What a great book. It teaches both a history lesson and a cultural lesson, yet is still really kid friendly.
Angela Hutchinson
2005 Parents Choice Award
2006 ALA Notable Children's Book

Kamishibai Man is a Japanese culture book about a man that tells stories with "paper theater". It had been a while since Jiichan had been to the city to tell his stories. The people in the city have lost interest in the stories the man tells because of the changes. There is one little boy that does enjoy his stories. The illustrations in this book give a glance at the cultural differences in Japan. This book would be a good book to use whe
This was heartwarming. The book tells the story of an older gentleman who once worked in street theatre, and who was driven out of business by television. The pictures are lovely and soft, and the text isn't terribly complicated. Most children would be able to understand the plot even with cultural differences. The opening note and closing information do provide some added information about the old-fashioned paper theatre that adds to the understanding of the text as well. On the whole, I enjoye ...more
Oct 20, 2008 Lara's rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Parents and children 4yrs-8yrs.
Shelves: picture-books
Synopsis : Japanese treasures of the past are filled with new life once more. The author, Allen Say, shares with his readers a wonderful tale of childhood.
Review : My grandfather told me once that "getting old really sucks". At first I didn't understand what he was talking about, he was successful, energetic, funny and seemed happy. However, as I age, I see what he meant. The Kamishibai Man is kind of going through the same thing my grandfather did. The same thing we all will go through eventu
I just took my first trip to the library in what has probably been 6 months and got hopelessly stuck in the children's picture book section. I came across Kamishibai Man by Allen Say and decided to read it on a whim. I am so glad I did.

Kamishibai Man explores the relationship between the advent of the television age and one of Japan's post-war storytelling traditions. Author Allen Say captures this bit of history with touching poignancy, managing to bring tears to my eyes every time I reach the
The title word kamishibai is Japanese meaning “paper theater.” In the informative afterword, Say explains the historical and cultural importance of the kamishibai performers and how they were precursors to modern manga and anime writers and illustrators. The story focuses on an older kamishibai man who has not sold his candies or told his stories for decades, but decides to ride his bike into the city and perform once again. Startled by how much has changed, he begins to tell the story of the de ...more
I felt so bad for Jiichan at the start of the book. He loved being a Kamishibai Man and then TV had to come along and ruin it. Kamishibai means "paper theater". Kamishibai men would ride around on bicycles with big boxes on the back, and set up somewhere to tell a story with picture cards. They would tell the story to kids and sell sweets to them after the story was done. So you can imagine the effect TV had on these men! In this story, Jiichan decides he's going on another round and tells the s ...more
Kristin Falenski
The book Kamishibai Man by Allen Say is about a man who used to ride his bike into town and tell stories to anyone who would listen and in turn when they were done they would get home made candy made by the mans wife. As the man grew older however, he started going to town less and less. Also as the times changed less and less children wanted to listen to his stories and wanted to watch television instead. One day after the man had grown old he decided to go back to town and was surprised that t ...more
jennifer  king
Awesome book that illustrated the old school technique of japaneese story telling in public, with a portable theatre and flash cards. Very provoking and tradition - preserving. For kids aged 7-10.
Illustrates picture book, with text.
An old kamishibai man--Japanese street storyteller--who retired with the rise of television goes out to tell his stories one more time, only to find the children who loved his tales years before still hold a place in their hearts for his kamishibai tales. Even readers unfamiliary with kamishibai will appreciate this lovely, sentimental story of a quieter time. Say’s graceful illustrations appear in two distinct styles--realistic paintings for the story itself and less-detailed, more cartoon-like ...more
Kelli Ryne
This book provides a beautiful introduction into the debate of culture versus modernization. As students study world cultures, they are bound to encounter arguments that are vehemently against new ideas and arguments that stress the need to throw off the traditions in favor of Westernization. They will encounter how some people have woven these two ideas together and may even be able to discuss their own experiences with it. Kamishibai Man shows how culture has a root, meaning and purpose, and t ...more
I found this story of the Kamishibai Man interesting. I enjoyed the foreword and afterword that gave details about the history of kamishibai as a form of entertainment in Japan. Kamishibai means "paper theater" and Say explains that each afternoon, the kamishibai man would come on his bicycle and tell a story that was accompanied by paper drawings displayed on a paper box. The children would gather to hear his stories and to have one of his candies.

This story is of a kamishibai man who sees the
Clearly not a book for kids, since it's a nostalgia piece that does not explain things like "what's a kamishibai man?" But it's a great story nonetheless.
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Allen Say is one of the most beloved artists working today. He is the recipient of the Caldecott Medal for GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, and also won a Caldecott Honor and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (written by Dianne Snyder). Many of Allen’s stories are derived from his own experiences as a child. His other books include THE BICYCLE MAN, TEA WITH MILK, and TREE OF ...more
More about Allen Say...
Drawing from Memory Grandfather's Journey Tea with Milk Tree of Cranes The Bicycle Man

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