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Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say - Book Report/Review Example

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Grandfather's Journey is an award winning book about a Japanese-American man recounting the story of his Grandfather's life and realizing the parallels to his own life. Grandfather is born in Japan, and then goes off to explore the world. He travels and falls in love with North America, specifically California's Sierra Mountains.(14) He returns to Japan, marries his sweetheart and they return to California where they raise a baby girl…
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Download file to see previous pages He loves both his country of birth and his new country and through that emotion comes to understand how his Grandfather felt.
Is the setting authentic The dual settings are both very authentic. There is a wealth of information about the "New World" and North America. The book lists and illustrates among others; "Deserts with rocks like enormous sculptures" (8), "endless farm fields" (9), and "huge cities of factories and tall buildings" (10) as well as Grandfather's reaction to them. I found the illustrations to be of a particular quality which vividly showed both the place and the mood of Grandfather while there. For example, in the "endless farm fields" (9) there is a rich, golden light and Grandfather is facing toward it, with a dreamy expression on his face while in the "huge city" he is hunched over matching the mood of the oppressive looking cityscape. The images of Japan are all serene and relaxed, which would fit the feeling when one is at home and at peace. There are authentic representations of the countryside (20, 21) as well as their home. (22, 25) The illustrator represents each culture without the typical stereotypical scorn.
Are the illustrations authentic and non-stereotypical The illustrations are authentic, representing the cultures in an embracing and non-degrading manner. There are illustrations of authentic Japanese clothing, (4, 21, 25, 27, 28) authentic American clothing, (5, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 30) as well as several examples of traditional Japanese clothing being worn by someone standing next to someone in traditionally American clothing. (23, 24, 29) Notably the wedding picture (23) has a bride in traditional Japanese dress and a groom in a traditionally western suit, this would not be a stereotypical wedding portrait. The most interesting aspect of the illustrations is Grandfather switching between the two types of clothing, beautifully showcasing the theme of the book which is the bridging of two cultures. Grandfather is shown as the same person in either type of clothing, which leads children to believe you cannot judge a person on their clothing, or society's label. There are no stereotyped illustrations of rice fields, oriental workers, laundries, or restaurants that you would often find in the era the book represents. The illustrations are simply of a man's family in situations any family might be in.
Is the culture accurately portrayed Both cultures are accurately portrayed in a factual and accepting manner. The wonder and expansion of the New World is shown in the illustrations of the "huge city" (10), the frontier store (12), and the riverboat (13). The culture is represented in the clothing of the people in the illustrations. The calm beauty of Japan is shown in the mountain scene (20), the peaceful gathering (21), and the scene at their home. (22) Each of the illustrations shows an aspect of the locations that is a true representation of a combination of the author's memories and the truth of the time and place. There are also interesting parallels of the two countries in the mention and illustration of mountains and rivers of both countries and the birds from each country Grandfather keeps. (18, 25) Each country is represented as equal, with excellent attributes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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