Author: Allen Say
Illustrator: Allen Say
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Awards: ALA Notable Book, Caldecott Medal (1994),
Topics: picture book, nonfiction, grandfathers, voyages & travels, homesickness, Japan, United States, Japanese-Americans, immigration, immigrant experience
Summary: This is the story of a Japanese immigrant's journey to America. Allen Say's (author) grandfather came to this country as a young man. The grandfather traveled all over America and saw the mountains, prairies, deserts, and cities. But, he settled in California because he liked it the best. California had mountains, sun, and a seacoast which reminded him of his home in Japan. He returned to Japan to marry and then brought his bride to California. They had a daughter, but then Grandfather became homesick for Japan and his family moved back to Japan. He loves being with his friends in Japan. He loved both countries all the rest of his life. His daughter married and had a son (Allen Say). After Allen grows up he decides to come see all the beautiful things in America his grandfather had loved and talked about. Allen stays in California but never forgets his homeland. The story is told as Say remembers his grandfather's life and his own coming to America.
- Grandfather's Journey from Google Books
View interior pages from the book
- Grandfather's Journey from Wikipedia
Asian Pacific American
- Asian Pacfic American Heritage from Scholastic
Asia and Pacific Ocean Views
- Japan from Wikipedia
- Japan Images and Media from Wikimedia Commons
- Japan from Zoom
- Photos of Mt. Fuji
- About Watercolor from Multimediaarts
- Example Watercolor Paintings from Ginnie Conaway
- Imitate the Masters
- Watercolor Demonstrations
- Watercolor Painting from Wikipedia
- Watercolor Paintings from Wikimedia Commons
- Watercolor Galleries Online
- Comparison. Compare photos of the time period with the illustrations in the book. How accurately do the illustrations reflect the time?
- Cultural Experience. Examine how the Japanese culture is shown in the book. How is the culture alike and different from your own cultural experience? Compare the homes, clothing, landscapes, and daily experiences. Also compare "now" and "then". How have both cultures changed in the past 60 years?
- Details. Look for the details in the story. For instance, create a list of all the places that are described or shown. Learn more about these places in both Japan and the US.
- Family Memories. Collect family members through interviews, drawings, and photographs. Write a story about your family history.
- Global Trek. Try the Global Trek activity from Scholastic to take virtual journeys around the world. Write a story about this experience
- Immigrant Experience. Write about another immigrant experience from the perspective of a person community to America from a different part of the world such as Mexico, Africa, or Europe. Describe their journey.
- How Far? Use Google Earth to trace the journey in the story. Then determine the miles. Create your own map with distance information and drawing.
- Scrapbook. The book is put together much like a scrapbook to tell a story. Locate photographs from your family to tell the story of a journey. Or, find photos from other sources and write a fictional account.
- Travel. How has travel changed since the the 1930s-1940s? If you were going to travel what mode would you use? Where would you go?
- Watercolor Painting. Examine the watercolor paintings in the story. Then look at other examples of watercolor. What do you like and dislike about this medium of painting? Why do you think watercolor was an effective or ineffective tool for this book?
- Lotus Seed from Reading Rainbow
Explores books about traditions and heritage passed down through generations
- Grandfather's Journey CyberGuide
- Grandfather's Journey
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