By Allen Say
Scholastic Press, $17.99, 64 pages
Allen Say is a Caldecott Medalist, author and artist. Many people are familiar with his works of fiction. Fans will delight in reading his autobiographical graphic novel, Drawing from Memory. As a young boy growing up in Japan, Say always dreamed of being an artist. When he was twelve years old, he became an apprentice to famous cartoonist Noro Shinpei who became his teacher and spiritual guide. When an opportunity arose to move to the United States, Say relocated. He now lives in Portland, Oregon and is a full-time writer and illustrator of children’s books. He has never forgotten his past and the people who raised and taught him. Writing from Memory is Say’s celebration and contemplation of that past. The story is about his experiences as an artist during World War II. It is told using a combination of cartoon drawings, comic book panels, photographs and text. Readers will be exposed to a different culture and Japanese vocabulary. This is an inspirational book with an important message.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin