Sibert Medal Awardees

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, established by the Association for Library Service to Children in 2001 with support from Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois. The ALSC administers the award.
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This particular collection includes some notable winners of Sibert Medal and Honor Books from the year 2001 to 2012.


Drawing from Memory (2011)

Written by Allen Say

Caldecott Medalist Allen Say presents a stunning graphic novel chronicling his journey as an artist during WWII, when he apprenticed under Noro Shinpei, Japan’s premier cartoonist.

Drawing From Memory is Allen Say's own story of his path to becoming the renowned artist he is today. Shunned by his father, who didn't understand his son's artistic leanings, Allen was embraced by Noro Shinpei, Japan's leading cartoonist and the man he came to love as his "spiritual father." As WWII raged, Allen was further inspired to consider questions of his own heritage and the motivations of those around him. He worked hard in rigorous drawing classes, studied, trained—and ultimately came to understand who he really is.

Part memoir, part graphic novel, part narrative history, Drawing From Memory presents a complex look at the real-life relationship between a mentor and his student. With watercolor paintings, original cartoons, vintage photographs, and maps, Allen Say has created a book that will inspire the artist in all of us. This book is recommended for young adults ages 12 and up. (Copyright © Scholastic Press. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Scholastic Inc.

Writer and illustrator Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937 to a Japanese American mother and a Korean father. Allen Say was born as James Allen Koichi Moriwaki Seii. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of six. At age twelve, he was sent off to Tokyo — living on his own — to attend a prestigious school in the city. Instead, he sought out and apprenticed himself to the famous post-war cartoonist, Noro Shinpei, and spent the next four years learning to draw and paint. That experience is described first in his autobiographical novel The Ink-Keeper's Apprentice (1996) and later in the 2011 picture book Drawing from Memory. At age sixteen, Say emigrated from Japan to California with his father.

In high school, Say was encouraged to pursue his art. He attended a special weekend arts program at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and classes at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. After graduation, Say went back to Japan, vowing never to return to America. But after a year in a much-changed Japan, he returned and worked as an apprentice to a sign painter and then had a two-year stint in the army, stationed in Germany. Say returned to California and for 20 years worked as a commercial photographer.

During those years, he kept drawing. In 1988, Say was asked by Walter Lorraine, an editor at Houghton Mifflin Company, to illustrate a retelling of the Japanese folktale, The Boy of the Three-Year Nap. It won the prestigious Caldecott Honor Award and Horn Book Award. The success of that book allowed Say to return to doing what he really loved, full-time — writing, painting, drawing — and it was the beginning of his second career as a children's book author and illustrator. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including Tree of Cranes, Grandfather's Journey (winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal), Home of the Brave, Tea with Milk, Kamishibai Man, and The Boy in the Garden. Many of his books have autobiographical elements. Say currently lives with his wife in Portland, Oregon.


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