Drawn Togetherby Minh Lê, Dan Santat Published 05 Jun 2018
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When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.
With spare, direct text by Minh Lê and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring picturebook about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come.
"Drawn Together" Reviews
A grade school age boy is dropped off at his Grandfather's house for a habitual visit. Although the grandpa greets him with a big smile, the boy appears slightly annoyed and downcast. As they sit down for dinner with radically different dishes, the reader finds out that the Grandpa doesn't speak English and the boy doesn't speak Vietnamese. As the day/weekend progress and the communication barrier grows, the boy pulls out his drawing supplies with a smile and creates a wizard version of himself. His grandpa grabs a seat next to him and draws his own superhero version of himself. Through their drawings, they are finally able to connect and have a shared experience.
A beautiful depiction of the language barrier between family members and how we can connect with each other in more ways than words. A short story for the older kids but may be a relevant topic in their lives.
Reviewed by: Miss Kelsey, Youth and School Services, Vernon Area Public Library
Very cute, I love the mixing of styles. I almost wish it was wordless though. The art feels strong enough to support it.
7/8/2018 ~~ A tale common to many families - a child and grandparent don't speak the same language. How do they maintain connections and understanding? In this case through drawing. The boy is clearly bored as he goes for routine visits to had grandfather's home...bored until he discovers that his grandfather loves to draw too. Through their sketchbooks, they create amazing stories together. Santat's illustrations are vivid and full of energy. His choice of color add depth to the emotions (boredom, excitement, etc.) felt by the characters.
Hear Le talk about the genesis of this tale in a 6/15/2018 NPR interview on All Things Considered:
A powerful book about finding common ground despite age and culture barriers. Definitely a 2019 Caldecott contender.
Wow! With few words, this children’s book shows us the power of unspoken language. I loved how the novel came alive, as each of the characters grabbed their choice of writing instruments to draw and to connect to each other. The years faded between the grandfather and his grandson as they sketched and united on paper.
Mother dropped her son off at her father’s house and immediately you can sense the dread the boy feels as he trudged up to his grandfather’s door. Grandfather is excited to see his grandson but the differences become apparent as you turn the pages. They each speak a different language, the food grandfather prepares for each of them is different, and what they want to watch on TV is different, there is not much excitement in this reunion. The young boy grabs his backpack and goes to the table and sits down. He pulls out blank pieces of papers and markers and he begins to draw himself as a superhero. Grandfather comes over and glances over the boy’s shoulder, sparks fly. Grandfather grabs his drawing supplies and returns. Soon the two of them are creating their own world on paper. Two unique superheroes battling a colorful world of creatures where only these two know what lies ahead. The night ends differently than how it started and I am sure this boy will soon be asking his mother when he can visit his grandfather again.
What a cute, children’s book about a grandfather and his grandson. I loved how they bridged the gaps they had in their relationship and the illustrations were fun and detailed. An excellent children’s book with few words but a great message.
Gorgeous book! I don’t think I could do it justice in storytime, so I’ll just have to talk it up to EVERYONE