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How My Parents Learned to Eat (Sandpiper Houghton Mifflin books) Paperback – April 27, 1987
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About the Author
Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of six, and, at age twelve, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four years, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction of Noro, who has remained Say's mentor. Say illustrated his first children's book -- published in 1972 -- in a photo studio between shooting assignments. For years, Say continued writing and illustrating children's books on a part-time basis. But in 1987, while illustrating THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (Caldecott Honor Medal), he recaptured the joy he had known as a boy working in his master's studio. It was then that Say decided to make a full commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children's books. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including TREE OF CRANES and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. He is a full-time writer and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.
Top Customer Reviews
An American sailor meets a woman in Japan and is instantly smitten. Their attraction is mutual; however each worries about being able to adapt to the other's culture. The sailor learns to eat with chopsticks and the woman in turn learns to eat with a knife, fork and spoon. She approaches her grandfather, a kind, scholarly man who teaches her the British way of handling western utensils. Still she worries because her fiance is American.
They meet again; their transcultural love shows they really have more common grounds than differences. Each is moved by the other's willingness to learn the other's culture and the results are heartwarming indeed.
Their daughter joins them and all readers at the Table of Brotherhood which once again proves that people really have more in common than they do differences.
This is such a wonderful book. I love it! I think it belongs in all homes and classrooms because it is an excellent example of cultural harmony and pride.
It teaches respect for other cultures by showing two people who care about one another enough to overlook their differences.
The narrator (the daughter) is very matter-of-fact about her cultural mix - cheerfully noting that some days they eat with knives and forks and some days with chopsticks.
My 6-year-old daughter loves it so much that she demanded to be taught to use chopsticks so we have an "Asian dinner night" once per week.
This book presents a very good view of life and culture in Japan (and some of America) while also introducing young children into basic table manners. We learn in the book the precise way to eat with spoons, knives, and forks, and we also learn the basics for using chopsticks. The culture of Japan is fully shown as well from all the signs being written in traditional Japanese characters to the mentioning of traditional clothes (the kimono). We are also introduced into how Asians drink soup-they drink from the bowl, which here in the United States would be considered inappropriate. Pictures of Japanese food and what they are called are also introduced to young children. The differences in how Americans and Japanese greet people are also touched upon as well. However what I liked most was the illustrations of the first and last pages of the book. The first page depicts their daughter in traditional Japanese clothing eating Japanese food with chopsticks, and with a rice cooker behind her. The last page of the book shows her in Western clothing eating steak and mashed potatoes with a toaster behind her. By this the book demonstrates an appreciation for both cultures.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book looks at the immigrant experience from a unique angle: a boy wonders how his American dad and his Japanese mother learned to share one another's worlds. Read morePublished 3 months ago by gayle h. swift
As a family that spends their time between 3 cultures, we can relate to that.
The Japanese part is awesome because it does show the differences that a foreigner is to learn... Read more
As soon as i got the book memories rushed through my head as i read through each page. I love this book then and i still love it now!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Absolutely adorable book about two young people learning about the other's culture before they got married.Published 6 months ago by Brian Katcher
This is cute, sweet, story. John and Aiko love each other but are worried about embarrassing the other, because John doesn't know how to use chopsticks and Aiko doesn't know how to... Read morePublished 10 months ago by empress8411
This has long been a favorite story of mine, with my love of Japanese culture. I took it, as a gift, to a Japanese friend who teaches English. He was delighted with it, also.Published 12 months ago by Diane S.
Everyone must eat every day. Some use chopsticks to eat. Others use folks, knives and spoons.
A Japanese girl and an American sailor meet in Japan. Read more
Love this book. Such a neat story about people of different cultures understanding a small part of each others cultures. My son enjoyed the book.Published 23 months ago by A.W.
what is this stuff? It's appears to be written for a 4 year old. Oh sorry, I think that was the author's intention.Published 24 months ago by Jonathan Clement