Jul 202006

Caldecott Medal First Edition Identification

Grandfather’s Journey; written and illustrated by Allen Say; Houghton-Mifflin; 1993

1994 Caldecott Medal
Picturebook Price Guide Value – $140 Fine

From Mom 2 Mom Connection:

Mr. Say gently describes his grandfather’s youthful journey from Japan to America. On his three-week steamship voyage, he is astonished by the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. After embarking, he explores by train the western landscapes of enormous rock formations and endless farm fields.

During his travels, he meets people of different color, certainly a new sight for him. Say writes, “The more he traveled, the more he longed to see new places…” Eventually, his grandfather settles along the coast of California after briefly returning to Japan to marry his childhood sweetheart.

The couple have a daughter, whom we later learn is Say’s mother, the subject of another stunning picture book, TEA WITH MILK. In time, the grandfather begins to miss Japan, and he decides to return to his homeland, along with his wife and grown daughter.

Say’s watercolor artistry is fantastic, as his skilled brush gracefully ages each character in the book. As a parent, I imagined my own children growing up, and realized how brief is the time we call childhood. The story continues, with the grandfather’s heart truly in two places, America and Japan.

Essential Identifying Point:
Copyright page:  Number line “H O R 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.”