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Allen Say Day at JANM

For its first annual Museum Store Sunday on Nov. 26, the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo featured noted children’s book author/illustrator Allen Say, who signed copies of his new book, “Silent Day, Silent Dreams,” an imagined look at the childhood of James Castle (1899-1977), who was born two months premature on a farm in Garden Valley, Idaho. He was deaf, mute, autistic and probably dyslexic. He didn’t walk until he was four; he would never learn to speak, write, read or use sign language. Yet, today Castle’s artwork hangs in major museums throughout the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art opened “James Castle: A Retrospective” in 2008, and the 2013 Venice Biennale included 11 works by Castle in the exhibition “The Encyclopedic Palace.” Caldecott Medal winner Say, author of the acclaimed memoir “Drawing from Memory,” allows readers to experience Castle’s emergence as an artist despite the overwhelming difficulties he faced, and ultimately reveals the triumphs that he would go on to achieve. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

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