Tag Archives: Allen Say

The Boy of the Three-Year Nap

by Dianne Snyder

Illustrated by Allen Say

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 1988

The laziest boy in the village wants to be rich without lifting a finger.  He devises a ploy to convince the local rich merchant that he must marry his daughter to himself.  Convincing the merchant that he is a god, he threatens to turn his daughter into a clay pot if he does not comply.  Taro’s plan works, and he is able to gain the hand of the merchant’s daughter, rebuild his mother’s home, and provide for them all.  Taro’s crafty mother makes a deal with the merchant that Taro doesn’t know about, however:  Taro will work for the merchant.

A terrific example of Japanese folklore, this picture book would be great for both World Literature in 12th grade and World History in 11th grade.

Awards: Caldecott Honor

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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Tea with Milk

By Allen Say

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 1999

May is a Japanese American who becomes a Japanese immigrant with her family while she is in high school.  By then, she has really become more American than Japanese and has a difficult time adapting to the expectations of Japanese village life.  Finally, she decides to strike out on her own and moves to Osaka work.  She meets her future husband, and she finds that she is grateful for the lessons that her mother forced her to learn.  In the end, she realizes that home is wherever she decides to be, and is content living in Japan.

A great book to use when speaking about multiculturalism and immigration/ emigration.  Many students whose parents harken from another country have a difficult time straddling the fence of expectations from the country they live in and the cultures that their parents bring to their new adopted country.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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