Kajikawa, Kimiko. Tsunami! New York: Philomel Books, 2009.
“A wealthy man in a Japanese village, who everyone calls Ojiisan, which means grandfather, sets fire to his rice fields to warn the innocent people of an approaching tsunami.” – CIP  Extraordinarily powerful illustrations.

The Master Puppeteer

Paterson, Katherine. The Master Puppeteer. New York: Harper Collins, 1975.
A thirteen-year-old boy lives in lonely poverty, learning how to take pride in his own skills, in eighteenth century Japan. [Historical fiction; Japan; Poverty]

Wabi Sabi

Reibstein, Mark. Wabi Sabi. New York : Little, Brown, 2008.“Wabi Sabi, a cat living in the city of Kyoto, learns about the Japanese concept of beauty through simplicity as she asks various animals she meets about the meaning of her name.” – CIP    Beautifully collaged illustrations! 

Say, Allen. The Boy in the Garden. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010.
A quietly beautiful picture book for reflective inquisitive readers 8 to 14 years old.  [Cranes (Birds); Dreams; Japan; Winter]

Drawing from Memory

Say, Allen. Drawing from Memory. New York : Scholastic Press, 2011.
An autobiographical account of the author and artist’s childhood. Highly recommended.


Say, Allen. Erika-san. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008.
“After falling in love with Japan as a little girl, Erika becomes a teacher and fulfills her childhood dream by moving to a remote Japanese island.” CIP

Grandfather's Journey

Say, Allen. Grandfather’s Journey.  Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
“A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather’s journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.” CIP

Crow Boy

Yashima, Taro. Crow Boy. Puffin, 1976.
A classic story of courage about a little boy who is treated like an outsider. Caldecott Honor Book. Highly recommended.

Click HERE to learn more about Allen Say.

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