Destinee Sutton's Reviews > Drawing from Memory

Drawing from Memory by Allen Say
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's review
Nov 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: art, biography-memoir, non-fiction, graphic

Super talented Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say uses photography, his own art, and the art of others to tell the story of how he became an artist. Born in Japan in 1937, Say knew at a young age he wanted to be a cartoonist, but his parents were not at all happy about his interest in art. Then the war came, and his parents got divorced, and Say ended up living alone in Tokyo at the age of 13! He turned his apartment into an art studio, tracked down his cartoonist hero, Noro Shinpei, and asked to be his apprentice, and soon began his career as an artist. Wow. Though the text was a little disjointed at times, the art is obviously awesome and the story is inspiring. A recurring theme is "Let your dear child journey," which is an old Japanese saying.

I was especially touched by the afterward, in which Say confesses that he always wanted to write a book with his sensei, but Noro Shinpei passed away before he had the chance, so he sees this book as a posthumous collaboration fulfilling that dream.

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