Portrait of the Artist as a Young Boy
By TERRY HONG, November 10, 2011, NY Times
What formative experiences make a great children’s book illustrator? In the case of Allen Say and Ed Young, both Caldecott medalists, the journey begins with unusual childhoods in wartime Asia. Connecting the dots from those beginnings to what would become long and successful careers, “Drawing From Memory,” by Say, and “The House Baba Built,” by Young, both picture books, portray the authors and artists as not-yet men.
DRAWING FROM MEMORY
64 pp. Scholastic Press. $17.99. (Picture book; ages 10 and up)
THE HOUSE BABA BUILT
48 pp. Little, Brown & Company. $17.99.(Picture book; all ages)
Both books describe how family can guide artists in their early years. In Say’s case, it was a chosen family; for Young, the extended family into which he was born.
As if intended to be paired, the titles of these two remarkable books prove complementary: “Drawing From Memory the House Baba Built.” In both artists’ lives, art provides a refuge.