Drawing from Memory

Illustrator Allen Say has, to some degree, been drawing from memory for a long time.  His Caldecott award winning book Grandfather’s Journey tells the story of his grandfather’s travels between Japan and America.  He soon learns, like many travelers and immigrant before him, that loving other countries and cultures means that he will always long for someone and something, even when he is in the place that should be home.  Say’s book Under the Cherry Blossom Tree is a traditional Japanese tale, but the old landowner featured in the story is based on his own cranky uncle, a man who has a cameo in this new book.   Drawing from Memory is Say’s own story… or the first 16 years of it, beginning in 1937, the year of his birth, to 1953, when he left for America with his estranged father.   Appropriate for an artist, this is an illustrated memoir, based on Say’s earlier autobiographical novel The Ink-Keeper’s Apprentice.   

Read Say’s Caldecott acceptance speech here.