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Book-Signing with Allen Say at JANM on Sunday

An illustration from Allen Say’s “Silent Days, Silent Dreams.”

On its first annual Museum Store Sunday on Nov. 26, the Japanese American National Museum will welcome noted children’s book author Allen Say for the launch of his new book, “Silent Days, Silent Dreams.”

It is an imagined look at the childhood of James Castle, who was born deaf, mute, autistic, and probably dyslexic. Despite countless obstacles and challenges, Castle persevered in creating his art. Today, his works are featured in major exhibitions and collected by museums all over the world.

Say will be signing copies of “Silent Days, Silent Dreams” which will be available for sale at the JANM Store. Museum members will receive a 20 percent discount.

Allen Say

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo. For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or visit

Born in Yokohama in 1937, Say dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of 6, and, at age 12, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four years, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction his mentor.

Say illustrated his first children’s book, published in 1972, in a photo studio between shooting assignments. For years, he continued writing and illustrating children’s books on a part-time basis. But in 1987, while illustrating “The Boy of the Three-Year Nap” (Caldecott Honor Medal), he recaptured the joy he had known as a boy working in his master’s studio.

It was then that Say decided to make a full commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children’s books. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including “Grandfather’s Journey,” winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. His other books include “Tree of Cranes,” “The Ink-Keeper’s Apprentice,” “Stranger in the Mirror,” “Tea with Milk,” “The Sign Painter,” “Emma’s Rug,” “Lost Lake,” “Allison” and “El Chino.”

In 2000, JANM held the first retrospective of Say’s work in children’s literature, featuring 55 of his original drawings and paintings along with original sketchbooks and autobiographical artifacts.

This book is available on Amazon:

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