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The Old Man Mad about Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai
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The Old Man Mad about Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Note from the publisher: America has the bizarre idea that a "picture book" must consist of exactly 32 pages, with large type and an appropriately simple story line. This book is 128 pages, has a glossary of terms, and presents a richly developed and historically accurate panorama. So it doesn't fit the pattern. Neither did Hokusai!
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by David R. Godine Publisher (first published November 14th 1997)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  27 reviews


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Becky Pliego
This is, without a doubt, my favorite biography of an artist for children. I loved the words, the illustrations, the layout.

When we finished the book, my 8yo old daughter hugged the book and exclaimed, "I want to paint like Hokusai!"

Tiffany
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a great biography and beautifully illustrated! A great addition to our study of Japan.
Monty
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-fiction
Francois Place is one of my favorite children's illustrators. This book is a wonderful introduction to the artwork of the Japanese master, Hokusai. He is considered by many sources to be the grandfather of Japanese Manga, and some of his artwork is iconic (such as the Wave, Samurai warriors battling terrible monsters, etc. The artwork is woven into a nice children's tale about a young orphan boy , Tojiro, who sells rice cakes for his uncle on the streets of Edo (?). It is arduous and thankless w ...more
Loren
Dec 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book to behold. The story is delightful and the illustrations are gorgeous and appropriate. My sons both loved this book, and it's a great primer on 19th C Japan, art and manga.
Nadiyah  Rizki
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS!!!1111111
Nancy
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am not a collector of books. Not really. But after seeing (and buying) Francois Place's book The Last Giants this summer, I knew that I would also want to own this book by him. It arrived from Amazon in the mail today and it is thrilling. It tells the story of an orphaned boy who lives with his uncle and aunt and sells rice cakes in the streets of Edo to earn his keep. He meets a "crazy old man," who turns out to be the 90-year-old artist Hokusai. The boy becomes Hokusai's apprentice. There ar ...more
Holly Thompson
Beautifully packaged and full of process detail. An engaging historical fiction biography of the incredible artist Katsushika Hokusai. Perfect to combine with a visit to the 2015 Hokusai exhibit at the Boston MFA! Hooray for publisher David R. Godine for bringing this book to English-language readers.
Lenny Husen
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book for anyone at any age. The illustrations are unbeleviably amazing and detailed. The book is about Hokusai, an artist who lived in Japan in the 19th Century.
This is a fictional tale of the artist and his relationship with a very special young protegé. Therefore it combines history, art, and the theme of the old giving to the young in ways that could last for...eternity. The book even contains an illustrated lesson in wood block engraving/printing, something I knew nothing about.

Wh
...more
Allison
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like E.L. Konigsburg's "The Second Mrs. Giaconda", the premise is that of a naive young apprentice learning from a master. Technical information is woven into a narrative aimed at late-elementary readers, with rich illustrations of Edo-period Japan.
Naomi
Very beautiful book, art by the author and prints by Hokusai, told from a very clever and engaging perspective. For all ages. Highly recommend.
Hailey Liechty
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lovely story woven together gracefully with fascinating illustrations and peppered with reproductions of Hokusai’s drawings. It was a pleasure to read, study and learn from this book!
aljouharah altheeyb
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
عندما أشتريت هذا الكتاب، كُنت موقنة أنه يتحدث عن سيرة حياة هوكوساي لكن مع الكثير من الرسوم التوضيحية، إذ أن هذا ماقاله لي الموقع وعدة قراءات اطلعت عليها قبل أن اشتريه ..
لكن الأمر كان مختلفاً تماماً، فهو عبارة عن كتاب قصصي موجه للأطفال للتعريف بالفنان العظيم هوكوساي وفنه، فيبدأ الكتاب بقصة اليتيم توجيرو وعمله في بيع كعك الأرز ولقائه برسام غريب الأطوار يدعوه الجميع “بالعجوز المجنون” ..

الكتاب ممتع جداً إن كنت لا تعرف شيئاً عن هوكوساي وترغب بالإطلاع عليه بعيداً عن ملل المقالات الجامدة، هو موجه للن
...more
Clodjee
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
“Le vieux fou du dessin” est un magnifique album illustré pour enfant qui offre, à sa manière, une biographie de ce grand maitre de l'estampe que l'on appelait aussi le “vieux fou de dessin” (ou de la peinture).

Au travers des yeux d'un petit vendeur de gateaux de riz devenu apprenti du peintre, et de la relation que ceux-ci développent peu à peu, le lecteur découvre non seulement la vie et l'oeuvre d'Hokusai, mais aussi de très nombreux aspects de la culture Japonaise. C'est un voyage initiatiqu
...more
Jane G Meyer
Fascinating chapter book about the master painter, Hokusai, whose life was as interesting as his artwork. Very well designed and illustrated, full color book. Engaging, easy-to-read, with a child main character who helped bring the story of the old master to life.
Carrie
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
I picked this one up because I have a hard time finding a lot about Hokusai. Perhaps that's because I'm just not looking in the right places, but I thought this book seemed really interesting. Aside from being a fictionalized children's book, it incorporated copies of some of Hokusai's woodblock prints which I enjoyed, as well as some of his drawings. Overall, I thought this was a cute, entertaining book, that only took me as long as it did because work got in the way.
Lara
Nov 23, 2012 rated it liked it
From the perspective of a poor boy selling rice, who is taken under Hokusai's wing. Not much detail of the processes, but a bit about the life and history of Hokusai working making posters and being noticed by nobility etc.
Carolyn
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed the book for our store. It is meant for children, but I just loved the pictures and story about a boy apprentice to a master artist. It explains printmaking too which is cool. I loved this book!
Srinidhi.R Srinidhi.R
I totally understand the old man who is mad about drawing..he's special and a few creative people like him can understand him..the method of teaching the child --how he teaches is also very good..he's a great teacher and not only a great artist..he also knows the art of dance..wonderful story..
Tristy
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A sweet and beautifully illustrated story about art and the history of Japan.
Nux
charming story, endearing pictures... lovely.
Kate
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Short and likeable.
Ann
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations!
Isabel
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing story that tells the biography of Hokusai, a Japanese painter.
Nevada Libert
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
this is amazing story. i love hokusai art i think that he was amazing artis.
Miss Amanda
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
gr 3-6 98 pgs



1800s, Edo, Japan. Follows Tojiro as he is apprenticed to the illustrator and printmaker Hokusai, known for "The 36 Views of Mt Fuji".

Maria
Jun 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Can be recommended for kids interested in printmaking, drawing, and Japanese culture. Wonderful illustrations, but I didn't fall in love with the plot.
Bonnie
rated it really liked it
May 28, 2012
Flo
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Sep 08, 2017
Barbara
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Jul 18, 2009
Jenny
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Mar 17, 2011
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After a ferry literary, he makes visual communication studies at the Ecole Estienne. (1974-1977.) He worked for several years as a freelance illustrator for studios of graphics and advertising and professional journals. His first children's book illustrations appear in the Rose Library at Hachette. In 1985, he met Pierre Marchand, publisher Gallimard Jeunesse, who notices his d'adolescent drawings ...more
“A good artist should laugh often!” 3 likes
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