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The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China Hardcover – October 3, 2011
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About the Author
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He finds inspiration for his work in the philosophy of Chinese painting. 'A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words,' explains Young. 'They are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images that words can never describe.'
Born in Tientsin, China, Ed Young grew up in Shanghai and later moved to Hong Kong. As a young man, he came to the United States on a student visa to study architecture but turned instead to his love of art.
Young began his career as a commercial artist in advertising and found himself looking for something more expansive, expressive, and timeless. He discovered all this, and more, in children's books. The subject and style of each story provide Young with the initial inspiration for his art and with the motivation for design, sequence, and pace. Accuracy in research is essential to his work, too--whether he is illustrating fantasy, folk tale, or fact.
According to Young, a strong foundation of credibility must be established in order to create new and exciting images. Through such images, he hopes to capture his readers and ultimately expand their awareness. Young's quest for challenge and growth are central in his role as illustrator.
'Before I am involved with a project I must be moved, and as I try something exciting, I grow. It is my purpose to stimulate growth in the reader as an active participant as well,' Young explains. 'I feel the story has to be exciting, and a moving experience for a child.'
A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Young has since taught at the Pratt Institute, Yale University, Naropa Institute, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. In 1990, his book Lon Po Po was awarded the Caldecott Medal. He has also received two Caldecott Honors--for The Emperor and the Kite and Seven Blind Mice--and was twice nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the highest international recognition given to children's book authors and illustrators who have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.
Young lives in Westchester County, New York, with his two daughters.
Top Customer Reviews
Ed Young's vivid descriptions of his unusual childhood, coupled with creative cut-out illustrations and fold out pages make this book a fascinating read for young and old alike. Many of his experiences are easy to relate to - picnics, loving families, and childhood games of pretend - and these experiences allow us to accept and understand the more unfamiliar parts of his childhood: shortwave radios, food shortages, refugees.
This elegantly told true story is replete with wonderful vintage photos and an author's note explaining Ed Young's journey of rediscovering his childhood home. It's a touching memoir, sure to expand our awareness of the wideness of the world around us and the depth of its history.
(Note: I received a free advance reading copy of this book from the publisher at an American Library Association Annual Conference. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Little, Brown!)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Is a very beautifully illustrated, personal (auto)biography, that touches on many facets of life in China during World War II. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good book, nice art media was cool the manner in which it was done. Ed Young's book are always top notch.Published on February 11, 2014 by Susan A. Smith
Not real sure I would have picked it up on my own in the bookstore, but was glad when it came recommended through our neighborhood book club.Published on October 2, 2013 by M. Pierce
I am a huge fan of Ed Young and his books. This book gave me a glimpse into his childhood. As with all his books, the illustrations are well done. Read morePublished on May 29, 2013 by Eric J. Van Raepenbusch
I bought the book because we currently live in China and I wanted our children to learn about it through stories as well. Read morePublished on November 19, 2012 by Sofia Keskinarkaus