Caldecott Medal Awardees

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published in the United States during the preceding year. It was established in 1937. It was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott.
Source: http://www.ala.org/alsc. All rights reserved.

This particular collection includes some notable winners of Caldecott Medal and Honor Books from the year 1987 to 2012.

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Grandfather's Journey (1993)

Written by Allen Say

When he was a young man, Allen Say’s grandfather left his home in Japan to explore the world. He began his journey by crossing the Pacific Ocean on a steamship, then wandered the deserts, farmlands, and cities of North America. At once deeply personal yet expressing universally held emotions, this tale of one man’s love for two countries and his constant desire to be in both places captured readers’ attention and hearts.

Allen Say lovingly tells the story of his own family’s cross-cultural history in elegant watercolor paintings that earned him a Caldecott Medal in 1994. This book is recommended for children ages 4 and up. (Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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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