The Boy in the Garden by Allen Say

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Synopsis

There was a story that Mama read to Jiro: Once, in old Japan, a young woodcutter lived
alone in a little cottage. One winter day he
found a crane struggling in a snare and set it
free. When Jiro looks out the window into Mr. Ozu’s
garden, he sees a crane and remembers
that story.
 
Much like the crane, the legend comes to
life—and, suddenly, Jiro finds himself in a
world woven between dream and reality.
Which is which? Allen Say creates a tale about many things
at once: the power of story, the allure of
the imagined, and the gossamer line between
truth and fantasy. For who among us hasn’t
imagined ourselves in our own favorite
fairy tale?
 

About Allen Say

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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 book -- published in 1972 -- in 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.
 
Published October 18, 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Boy in the Garden

Kirkus Reviews

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It opens with a retelling of “The Crane Wife,” with a heading telling readers that this is “the story that Mama read to Jiro.” He recalls the tale about “the crane that the woodcutter saved from the trap” when he sees a crane statue in a family friend’s garden and then imagines a teahouse on the ...

Oct 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Boy in the Garden

The New York Times

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A young Japanese boy mistakes the real and imaginary in this picture book from Allen Say.

Feb 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Boy in the Garden

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