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The Old Man Mad About Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai Hardcover – 11 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine Publishers Inc, U.S.; 1st U.S. Ed edition (11 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567922600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567922608
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.3 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gina R Collia on 29 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai' by Francois Place, and I have to say that it is one of the most charming books I've read in a long while. It is a book for young readers, but it is such a lovely volume that I think adults will also find it enchanting... I certainly did. It tells the story of Tojiro, a nine year old orphan who sells rice cakes in nineteenth century Edo, and his relationship with one of his customers, a grumpy old artist... Hokusai. Hokusai takes a shine to the boy, who he affectionately refers to as 'Sparrow,' and soon takes him on as his assistant. The artist teaches him to read, introduces him to the process of woodblock printing, and little Sparrow learns all about Hokusai's earlier works. The relationship between artist and pupil is most endearing and there is a great deal of humour and warmth in the text. On each and every page there is an illustration... either a reproduction of one of Hokusai's designs (when it is relevant to the text), or one of Place's fantastic sketches of Hokusai and his little apprentice or of nineteenth century Edo and its colourful inhabitants. If you want to introduce a young reader, or an adult beginner for that matter, to Japanese prints then this is the book to do it with.
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By B. on 7 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being interested in japanese woodcuts I bought this and enjoyed it! It's a book I love so much I don't want to keep it put pass it on and share it with others..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Delightful in Words and Pictures 2 Jun. 2004
By char - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a librarian I see many, many books and this is a definite favorite. The simple story of the great Ukiyoe master, Hokusai, and his young apprentice, Tojiro, is told with humor and feeling. Along the way, there are lessons about being young and old, about persistence and talent. Many of the stories about Hokusai and his artwork are based on fact, such as his most famous Great Wave of Kanagawa from the collection Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji and his "thought-up drawings" in Hokusai Manga. As wonderful as the story is, the illustrations may be the very best part of this book. Francois Place's paintings are a story in themselves. The illustrations are colorful, well executed, with a subtle oriental flavor. Interspersed with Hokusai's own woodblock prints, they appeal to adults and children who love art, Japan, or just a warm and heartfelt story. I recommend Old Man Mad About Drawing to children, parents, and anyone who loves interesting stories blended with captivating art.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
*HOKUSAI SHOWS HOW TO AGE PURPOSEFULLY . . .* 28 Mar. 2007
By mcHaiku - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Francois Place has cleverly built this story about a mentoring relationship between the revered artist, Hokusai, and a young apprentice he names "sparrow." In the process of learning to serve "the old man mad about drawing" the sparrow, Tojiro, is introduced to the progressive stages of Hokusai's art. At first the old man seemed scraggly & wild to the boy; then he grew to appreciate the humor & many-faceted talents of the artist. Tojiro was taught to read, make inks and serve in many capacities.

Each time I hold this book the 'feel' of it pleases me. The font, Perpetua, is discussed in the back. There is also a Glossary - illustrated, naturally! The book's illustrations are plentiful and filled with the energy of Hokusai's "manga" - - the sketchbooks which also brought him fame. Because Francois Place is both author & illustrator of "The Old Man . . ." he had the freedom to paint chapter headings as vertical 'capsules' showing what each chapter is about. Place has a strong individual style that has brought him success as an illustrator, & Reviewer mcHAIKU is eager to search for his other titles.

The warmth of the relationship between teacher and student is shown when, during a walk together, the master whispers to Tojiro, "Learn to look in silence, if you don't want noise to drive away the beauty of fragile things that are before your eyes." On page 96, Place has an amusing sketch of the master letting the boy leave to find his future, tethered by a rope inked in by paintbrush.

Hokusai's assessment of his own growth as an artist was added to his now-famous album of "One Hundred Views of Mount Fugi." (see page 100), This statement giving perspective on aging, persistence and achievement should be used at all seminars for 'seniors'. Long after his death in 1889, HOKUSAI IS A ROLE MODEL FOR TODAY.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Wow is this happy and fun! 25 Feb. 2008
By A. Bouck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not only is this book interesting, it is fun! The illustrations are creative, colorful, catchy and in the style of hokusai. Although it is probably a children's book, I love it. It is also a good read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Thoroughly Enchanting 3 Jan. 2009
By Gina R Collia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've just finished reading 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai' by Francois Place, and I have to say that it is one of the most charming books I've read in a long while. It is a book for young readers, but it is such a lovely volume that I think adults will also find it enchanting... I certainly did. It tells the story of Tojiro, a nine year old orphan who sells rice cakes in nineteenth century Edo, and his relationship with one of his customers, a grumpy old artist... Hokusai. Hokusai takes a shine to the boy, who he affectionately refers to as 'Sparrow,' and soon takes him on as his assistant. The artist teaches him to read, introduces him to the process of woodblock printing, and little Sparrow learns all about Hokusai's earlier works. The relationship between artist and pupil is most endearing and there is a great deal of humour and warmth in the text. On each and every page there is an illustration... either a reproduction of one of Hokusai's designs (when it is relevant to the text), or one of Place's fantastic sketches of Hokusai and his little apprentice or of nineteenth century Edo and its colourful inhabitants. If you want to introduce a young reader, or an adult beginner for that matter, to Japanese prints then this is the book to do it with.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Worth reading, quite enjoyable 4 Nov. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story and its illustrations are charming. It gives glimpse of the Japan of yesteryear, and the story is heart warming. For artists, Hokusai was a master and excellent role model, and we get to know him through the eyes of his young apprentice.
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