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The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  90 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Thirteen-year-old Kiyoi, an apprentice to the famous cartoonist, Noro Shinpei, tries to develop his talent and become self-reliant, in this novel based upon the author's own boyhood in Japan.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 25th 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1979)
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Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have loved all of Allen Say's picture books. He is an exceptional artist and a wonderful story teller. His main themes are the coming together of Japanese and American cultures in some way, whether through telling his own story, or that of his parents, his daughter, or his grandparents, or even other people. The Ink-keeper's Apprentice is one of the few non-picture books I know of written by Say. In this book, he tells of his experience learning to draw well under the tutelage of a master, the ...more
Vincent Eisman
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I read this to better understand Allen Say's books. His beautifully illustrated children's books often feature protagonists who are outsiders living in cultural contexts in which they do not feel they belong. The sense of isolation in his books is often unresolved (longing for fatherland when in a new country and vice versa) or resolved through costly compromise (lingering unanswerable questions or apotheosis through foreignness). As I suspected, this somewhat introspective autobiographical work ...more
[☆] мєℓαиιє [★]
Sei will nichts anderes als zeichnen, zeichnen, zeichnen. Sein größter Traum ist es Mangazeichner zu werden. In der Zeitung liest er von dem berühmten Mangazeichner Noro Shinpei und seinem Schüler Tokida. Für Sei ist schnell klar, dass möchte er auch, deshalb macht er sich auf die Reise nach Tokio, um Noro Shinpei einen Besuch abzustatten.

Zu seiner eigenen Überraschung und Freude nimmt der Mangameister den 13-jährigen Schüler tatsächlich in seinen Reihen auf, wobei Sei nicht nur einen Lehrmeiste
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was my first ever reading and exploration of the more present-day Japanese culture after the Hiroshima bomb and it was wonderful. I have never really been as fascinated with Japanese culture as many others but this book may have just opened a whole new can of worms.

The story is light and does not really have a particular problem - it is a re-telling of the author's life as a teenager. But the story makes you feel as though you are in the setting, in the character's world. The main plot fol
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-autobiography
I have been a fan of Allen Say's beautiful picture books for a long time; stumbling across this autobiography was a special treat for me. I loved reading about his beginnings as an artist and admired his courage and perseverance in following his dream. It was surprising to read that he was living on his own from a very early age onwards. (While I at first thought this would be a great book for upper elementary students, due to some issues addressed, I would recommend it rather to middle schooler ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was very moving for me, as I am an illustrator that is just starting out and finding my way around. I also lived in Japan for a year, so it's really great to get the perspective from post-war Japan. I feel that even if you are not an artist or have ever been to Japan you will still be able to relate to this book. Say spins a great mix of true life events with flavorful storytelling. It is a fantastic coming of age/ adolescent story. Give it a go!
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this in a day--it's interesting, the writing is good, I liked the protagonist but I never felt strongly connected. I guess my own personal views got in the way of accepting his choices. I went into this book really wanting to know more about Japan right after WWII but the book didn't give me enough.
Doug Wells
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but what makes it special are personal memories. Dillon and I, and occasionally Neeley, had sushi with Allen and his wife for a number of years (Tuesday nights at Kappaya). Over that time we swapped lots of stories, including hearing parts of this one and he brought Dillon signed versions of his award winning books. I have such fond memories of the time and of him.
May 06, 2008 rated it liked it
It is interesting to read, because as Allen Say himself said, "Most of it is true." It covers only a short time period in his life, but I do wonder what is true and what is not. It sounds like a rather interesting life. I found the chapter about WWII the most interesting.
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
its sad when kiylo leaves japan
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Monica Rae
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Annika Rasmussen
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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
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