Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from age six, and also, at age twelve, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four decades, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction of Noro, who has remained insulting's mentor. Say illustrated his first children's book -- published in 1972 -- in a photo studio involving shooting assignments. For many years, Say continued writing and illustrating children's books to a part time foundation. However in 1987, while demonstrating THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (Caldecott Honor Medal) he uttered the pleasure he had known as a boy working at his master's division. It was then Say chose to create a complete commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children's books. Ever since that time, he has written and illustrated several books, such as TREE OF CRANES and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. He's a full-time author and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.
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