Grandfather's Journey

by Allen Say

Wearing European clothes for the first time, a young Japanese man traveled alone... read more

Wearing European clothes for the first time, a young Japanese man traveled alone across the Pacific and then throughout the U.S. during the early 20th century. He marveled at the expanses of ocean and land. "The endless farm fields reminded him of the ocean he had crossed." Finally returning to Japan years later with his wife and daughter, he established a life in his birth nation and culture but never quite settles there emotionally. This young man was the grandfather of the narrator/artist who, like his elder, now understands longing for the home left behind and yet living where one has also experienced wonder. The juxtaposition of deep feeling with emotional distance underscores the theme. Say's full-page watercolor paintings present an 11 3/4" by 9 3/4" album-like sequence of landscapes and people with effective uses of light in this unique perspective on immigration. (Ages 8-12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1993

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