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Grandfather's Journey Paperback – October 27, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It's an understatement to say this is one of the most beautiful children's books ever written. Mr. Say gently describes his grandfather's youthful journey from Japan to America. On his three-week steamship voyage, he is astonished by the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. After embarking, he explores by train the western landscapes of enormous rock formations and endless farm fields.
During his travels, he meets people of different color, certainly a new sight for him. Say writes, "The more he traveled, the more he longed to see new places..." Eventually, his grandfather settles along the coast of California after briefly returning to Japan to marry his childhood sweetheart.
The couple have a daughter, whom we later learn is Say's mother, the subject of another stunning picture book, TEA WITH MILK. In time, the grandfather begins to miss Japan, and he decides to return to his homeland, along with his wife and grown daughter.
Say's watercolor artistry is fantastic, as his skilled brush gracefully ages each character in the book. As a parent, I imagined my own children growing up, and realized how brief is the time we call childhood. The story continues, with the grandfather's heart truly in two places, America and Japan.
Anyone who has ever traveled abroad can relate to this experience. As I read his book, I wept, because I too have lived in Japan, and part of my heart will always remain overseas.Read more ›
When he is almost an adult, a young man (who would be Say's grandfather) moves to North America. He travels all over the United States (depicted in the illustrations) and falls in love with San Francisco. He briefly returns to Japan for his childhood love, then returns to San Francisco. Together they have a daughter and are living happily, but the grandfather becomes homesick for the mountain, rivers and friends of Japan. We see him surrounded by his songbirds in American clothes wishing for his home. Finally, when his daughter is almost grown, he returns to Japan. He laughs with his friends in his home village and for a time is happy. But his daughter had spent all her life in San Francisco and was not meant for the small village, so her father buys her a house in a city. She marries an untraditional man and has a son.
But the father wishes for San Francisco. We see, as his grandson saw, him surrounded by songbirds and the things he loves, dressed in the traditional Japanese dress, wishing for his home in San Francisco. He plans to return to North America.
Unfortunately, World War II begins and destroys the city. Grandfather returns to the small village, but never had another songbird. He told his grandson (who is the author and illustrator, Allen Say)that he wished to return to San Francisco one more time. But he died before he had the chance.
When his granson was nearly an adult, he went to America himself to see what his grandfather had talked about.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A standalone biography of a grandson's remembrances of his grandfather's life that should really get a "6". Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathy Davie
The best thing about this App is that It lets me buy kindle books without having to buy a kindle device!Published 3 months ago by Alejandro Czeisler
Gave it to my grandchildren. I am not their grandfather, but their grandmother. But it's a sweet and sentimental book that brings tears to my eyes, if not my grandchildren's.Published 5 months ago by Goldi
***EXCELLENT STORY***MARVELOUS ILLUSTRATIONS***COULD BE ABOUT ANY OF OUR GRAND PARENTS OR GREAT GRAND PARENTS***THIS COMPANY'S BOOKS LOOK BRAND NEW & THEY SHIP SAFE & QUICK***THANK... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brenda
A beautiful story that so caringly follows the life of a Japanese immigrant who comes to the United States (but the story is a universal one).. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Carol P. Zimring
Beautiful. It is a wonder that such a simple book, could be so moving. Short, easy to read text combined with beautifully simple illustrations tell the story of Mr. Read morePublished 9 months ago by K. Martinez