Drawn Together
Drawn Together

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Annotation: A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.
Catalog Number: #168961
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Santat, Dan,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-484-76760-8 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2744-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-484-76760-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2744-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2016019315
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
[Books by Horn Book reviewers are not reviewed; we provide notice of publication and descriptive comment.] An English-speaking grandson and his Thai-speaking grandfather have trouble communicating in words--but with art supplies in their hands, they create a shared magical adventure involving warriors and dragons. Varied mixed-media panel illustrations incorporate culturally specific motifs in both the real-world setting and the fantastical story-within-a-story.
Publishers Weekly
This story from Lê (Let Me Finish!), about a Thai-speaking grandfather and his assimilated American grandson, testifies to the mighty power of art. The opening sequence shows the boy getting dropped off by his mother and glumly ringing his grandfather-s doorbell. A gulf of age and language separates the two. Though the grandfather is dressed in Western clothes, he puts his hands together in a traditional Thai greeting. In the panel artwork that follows, the grandfather-s speech appears in Thai script, the boy-s in English. In despair, the boy pulls out his sketchbook and draws a boy wizard with a peaked hat. Grandfather, it turns out, can draw, too. His wizard, clothed in magnificent Thai ceremonial garb, is a showstopper. A phantasmagoric duel begins: -All the things we could never say come pouring out.- Santat-s work dazzles with layers of color, exquisitely worked traditional designs, and ambitious scale. With the grandfather drawing in his idiom and the boy in his, the two defeat the dragon of difference that separates them and discover that they do not need to be able to speak in order to communicate. Ages 4-8. Author-s agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. Illustrator-s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (June)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2 An American-born child tells about his visit to his grandfather. Their meeting is awkward at first since the boy doesn't speak Thai; the older man doesn't speak English. The reluctant narrator's entrance into his grandfather's home begins before the title page and continues wordlessly in a series of panels. Different foods and television programs exacerbate their inability to communicate verbally, all depicted in spare text and panels of translucent illustrations. The boy gives up talking, instead opening his backpack to pull out a sketch of a superhero. He is surprised when his grandfather's sketchbook reveals another superhero, which leads them to discover "a world beyond words." The boy and his grandfather connect when creating an artful world: one colorful, childlike; the other in sophisticated black-and-white line drawings. When the magic seems to dissipate, a dragon enters and appears to separate thembut once again the pair is drawn together in a satisfying conclusion that requires few if any words. VERDICT This handsomely illustrated book is perfectly paced to express universal emotions that connect generations separated by time, experience, and even language. It is sure to appeal widely on many levels. Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* When a young Asian American boy visits his Thai-speaking grandfather, despite granddad's best efforts hot dog for dinner, control of the TV remote e language barrier and the generational divide seem insurmountable. Until, that is, the boy brings out his paper and markers and they're matched by his grandfather's sketchbook and paintbrush. Together, they're drawn into a vibrant world of boy wizards and mythical Thai warriors, and "all the things we could never say come pouring out." They discover each other in imaginary battle against a fearsome dragon, before the end of the evening heralds a new beginning for them both. Lê's poignant and deeply meaningful tale is rocketed into the stratosphere by Santat's dynamic and playful visuals, imaginatively conceived and action-packed even as they potently evoke the culture they're drawn from. Beneath the dynamism, Santat matches the more delicate emotions the story hinges on; one glance at the boy's face, dreading what's ahead of him as he waits for his grandfather to answer the door, attests to this. The writer-artist collaboration's success is also on display in subtle visual representation of the shifting relationship, as when the boy and grandfather, coming together in a final battle, exchange artistic "weapons." Focus on an underrepresented culture; highly accessible emotions; concise, strong storytelling; and artistic magnificence make this a must-have.
Word Count: 102
Reading Level: 2.1
Interest Level: P-K
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 195323 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD310L

The recipient of six starred reviews and the APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature!

Named a Best Book of 2018 by the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Smithsonian, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Booklist, the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, BookRiot, the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library-and many more!

When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.

With spare, direct text by Minh and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring picturebook about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come.

A Junior Library Guild selection!


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