The Kamishibai man used to ride his bicycle into town where he would tell stories to the children and sell them candy, but gradually, fewer and fewer children came running at the sound of his clappers. They were all watching their new televisions instead. Finally, only one boy remained, and he had no money for candy. Years later, the Kamishibai man and his wife made another batch of candy, and he pedaled into town to tell one more story—his own. When he comes out of the reverie of his memories, he looks around to see he is surrounded by familiar faces—the children he used to entertain have returned, all grown up and more eager than ever to listen to his delightful tales.
Using two very different yet remarkable styles of art, Allen Say tells a tale within a tale, transporting readers seamlessly to the Japan of his memories.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Sold by:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Lexile:||AD690L (what's this?)|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||5 - 8 Years|
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 bookpublished in 1972in 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the best book he has writen. (Thats my opion)
Like all Allen Say's art, the illustrations are exquisite, and the story is charming. Children nowadays find their world fun with having televisions and computers in their homes. This story is like a bit of history for them. It leads them through the good times when Japanese children eagerly anticipated the stories of the kamishibai man, and the heaviness felt by the storyteller because of the change of an era. I too grew up in a place where people didn't have televisions in their homes. Only Mrs. Chan two doors away owned a television. Every Saturday afternoon, Mrs. Chan would let us kids on the block in to watch two shows in her house. For me and the other children, it was like having a festival every weekend. Or, as I later learned to say, ¿It¿s like have Christmas every Saturday.¿ This story brought me back some wonderful childhood memories. This is a great book for children and adults to share and enjoy!
This book is absolutely amazing. It's like walking through a museum in many ways -- the author seamlessly transports us back to the Japan of his childhood in the 1940s. In the introduction, Allen Say writes, 'When I think of my childhood in Japan, I think of kamishibai. It means paper theater.' Say was born in Yokohama in 1937, into a very different Japan than what exists now. Back in the days where people didn't have televisions in their homes, children would eagerly anticipate listening to the kamishibai man's stories. 'Clack! Clack!' He would beat his wooden blocks together until he'd drawn a crowd of listeners. His stories were cliffhangers, ending with 'to be continued.' So the children would return the next day to hear what happened next. In this book, an old man who has retired to the countryside remembers his days of being a kamishibai man. 'I've been thinking how much I miss going on my rounds,' he says to his elderly wife. So, she makes him some candies, and he rides his bike back into the city, humming along the way (until he reaches the urban metropolis). He decides to set up his wooden theater in the middle of the concrete city and share the journey of his career. Thus begins a story within a story, and Say changes his style of artwork to preserve the style of the kamishibai man's illustrated cards. The facial expressions in the artwork are stunning. You have to look at each picture carefully to notice all the exquisite details. This would be a great addition to school libraries and classrooms -- teachers will love to read it out loud because it's captivating and full of dialogue.