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8 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars -A poignant story of the immigration experience
Allen Say's book is a sensitive and poignant story of a Japanese man who came to explore America around the turn of the century. Enraptured by the beauty of the country, he brings his bride to California and proceeds to build his life there. At times, however, he grows wistful for his homeland and longs to return. Finally, the desire to return to to his homeland...
Published on 17 Mar 1999

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3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures and storyline, but not a repeat storybook
I judge a child's storybook by how often my son grabs it off the book shelf at storytime. However, this story is never chosen by my son and is only read at storytime when I chose it. Grandfathers Journey has beautiful pictures and a storyline that will hit the heart of any adult who has moved from one area to another.
Published on 3 May 1997


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars -A poignant story of the immigration experience, 17 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Allen Say's book is a sensitive and poignant story of a Japanese man who came to explore America around the turn of the century. Enraptured by the beauty of the country, he brings his bride to California and proceeds to build his life there. At times, however, he grows wistful for his homeland and longs to return. Finally, the desire to return to to his homeland overcomes him and he goes back to the small village where he was born. The years pass, his children grow up and have children, and he begins to long for the beauty of his second home, so he plans a trip. A war errupts, however, and he is never able to revisit the United States. Beautifully illustrated and sensitively told, Grandfather's Journey demonstrates the strong emotions evoked by one man's love for two countries and two cultures. The story also demonstrates that it is possible to love two countries equally well and to discover taht as soon as you are in one, you long for the other. The book also presents a refreshing retelling of Japanese-American relations. The book raises an awareness of the immigrant experience in a tone that is both simple and subtle.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, simple yet thought provoking!, 31 July 1999
By A Customer
I thought the book was exceptional. It is simple in its own way, yet it can also be very thought provoking. The story covers such topics as love of country, war, happiness, disappointments, and adventure. It is a book that young children can enjoy in its simplicity and beauty but it can also be enjoyed by older children and adults in a reflective sort of way. The book also has beautiful illustrations which must be mentioned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting account of immigration and love for homeland., 4 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This was a great piece of reading about a persons desire to visit a foreign land (USA) and to eventually settle there. It also dealt with the feeling of homesickness and return to the native country. This cycle was repeated again in the story, but war prevented the return trip from occurring. This led to mixed emotional feelings by the main character that he kept with him until he died.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures and storyline, but not a repeat storybook, 3 May 1997
By A Customer
I judge a child's storybook by how often my son grabs it off the book shelf at storytime. However, this story is never chosen by my son and is only read at storytime when I chose it. Grandfathers Journey has beautiful pictures and a storyline that will hit the heart of any adult who has moved from one area to another.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and Poignant, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: Grandfather's Journey (Paperback)
Beautifully illustrated. The images seem deeply personal with an inherent sense of dignity. In this wonderful tribute to his grandfather, Allen Say, through his taut prose and pictures, takes the reader on a journey to find the place called home. As the old saying goes, Home is where the heart is. However, what happens if your heart is drawn by two places and very different cultures: the land of your birth and the land through which you journey and ultimately settle?

Grandfather's journeys between the unnamed mountain village in Japan and the seacoast of California, evoke a sense of pilgrimage. Yet the story suggests that with changing times and circumstances, your feelings too can suddenly be changed. In a moment of suspense, it would appear that the restless tide of journeying has ended with grandfather's death.

But the family line continues and in words remniscent of his grandfather, the writer states: "The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other."

Young children may find it difficult to connect with the pictures, (many of them, portraits of the Grandfather and his family). The issue of being an immigrant is probably outside their experience and although this is a story about adventure, it is more a reflection upon the feelings of the grandfather, rather than a suspense filled plot. As an adult, however, I loved this story. Although I have no personal experience of immigration, the skilful combination of writing and images enables you to enter into and empathise with the characters on their restless journeys between homes. Just like Allen, the reader is able to say, "I think I know...grandfather now."
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very special book., 16 Feb 1998
By A Customer
As a volunteer with international exchange students, I use this book to help them understand the difficulties of going home and adjusting. This book is a perfect way to start discussion on the challenges of going home after living abroad. It's worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Evocative, 21 Jun 1998
By A Customer
Allan Say's book is resonant and rich both in illustrations and language. Wonderful for any adult who has ever faced the loss of home and for any child interested in family origins and history. This is an often read favorite at our home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oriental culture emphasizes., 22 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Fond memories make us long for familar faces in familar places. We keep the laughter of friends in our heart until it must be replenished by new experiences.
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Grandfather's Journey
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say (Paperback - 27 Oct 2008)
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