January 7, 2010

Our friends at the Elliott Bay Book Company here in Seattle tell us that Allen Say, a Caldecott Medal winner for the children’s book Grandfather’s Journey, will speak at the downtown library on Sunday, January 17.

Born in Yokohama, Say is the son of a Korean father and Japanese American mother. He emerged from an unhappy childhood to become a successful photographer and then a highly respected artist and writer of children’s literature. His works include Tea with Milk, Tree of Cranes, and Emma’s Rug.

The publisher’s webpage for Say features an NPR interview with the author, who discusses Home of the Brave, his dreamlike book about the World War II incarceration camps. In an ironic comment, Say confesses to the NPR interviewer that he is terrified of children. Luckily that doesn’t prevent him from producing beautiful books for them.