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Drawn Together (Hyperion Picture Book (eBook))

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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 st 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.


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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 st 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.

30 review for Drawn Together (Hyperion Picture Book (eBook))

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #5 of 2018. I read this in June 2018 but will bump up my rating from 3 stars to 4 stars because this is now a family rating. Lyra (11): 4.5 stars. It shows what art is and what it means to the boy and his grandfather. Didn't need words, though. Hank (12): 5 stars! I love how they Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a comment and it may (or may not) affect my overall rating. This is book #5 of 2018. I read this in June 2018 but will bump up my rating from 3 stars to 4 stars because this is now a family rating. Lyra (11): 4.5 stars. It shows what art is and what it means to the boy and his grandfather. Didn't need words, though. Hank (12): 5 stars! I love how they get drawn together by drawing and not words. Harry (13): 4.5 stars. I love how they were drawn together through their love of drawing. Jenn (family friend): 2 stars. The story was superficial, but I like some of the artwork. Tara: 5 stars. I like this one! Honestly, I don't think it needs words, the drawing speaks enough. Dave: 3.5 stars. Grandpa and boy can't communicate--language barrier, but one day Grandpa sees the kid drawing, he brings out some of his drawings, they draw together, and in the process become more closely "drawn together," heh. One curious thing is that Le tells this story but does not draw it, making this fiction, I suspect. Caldecott medalist Dan Santat does the illustration, which happens in two styles, the boy's contemporary style comics and Grandpa's classically historical Asian illustration, which in the drawing together blend somewhat, which I like.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I enjoy Dan Santat’s work. It is lovely. This is about the separation of the generations and culture. A Grandfather only speaks his native language and the young boy is American. They don’t like the same TV and they can’t communicate easily. They feel very separated and it’s not fun to be together. The boy then goes to the kitchen to draw his little super person and the grandfather sees this and gets his own sketch book out. He also has his own super person that he drew of himself. Now they can c I enjoy Dan Santat’s work. It is lovely. This is about the separation of the generations and culture. A Grandfather only speaks his native language and the young boy is American. They don’t like the same TV and they can’t communicate easily. They feel very separated and it’s not fun to be together. The boy then goes to the kitchen to draw his little super person and the grandfather sees this and gets his own sketch book out. He also has his own super person that he drew of himself. Now they can communicate in their world of make-believe and they have a great time together. This art of theirs builds a bridge. It really is a beautiful story. The nephew thought this story was pretty awesome. He gave it 4 stars. He liked the dragon the kid drew that they ended up defeating. The niece seemed touched by this story. She loved the stories the two told and she liked that they were able to do something together. She also gave this 4 stars. My dad has health issues and he doesn’t get around like he used to. When he comes to visit he mostly sits and the kids tend to ignore him a little. He doesn’t draw, but I wish there were a way to bridge those two generations together. He will watch TV with them, but it’s not the same. I hope they can find something like this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    While I absolutely love and appreciate the presented message of Minh Lê's Drawn Together that one can also communicate with other methods than using words and speech (and how the little boy and his grandfather soon realise that their shared love of art and drawing can indeed bridge their communication issues and result in both understanding and having fun, having a good time together), the language oriented part of myself does kind of question and wonder why for one the little boy has not been t While I absolutely love and appreciate the presented message of Minh Lê's Drawn Together that one can also communicate with other methods than using words and speech (and how the little boy and his grandfather soon realise that their shared love of art and drawing can indeed bridge their communication issues and result in both understanding and having fun, having a good time together), the language oriented part of myself does kind of question and wonder why for one the little boy has not been taught even some of his grandfather's language (which I believe is Vietnamese) and why for two the grandfather has equally not learned even a few words of rudimentary English. For honestly, I do find it personally rather problematic that there is such a total and complete verbal communication block and lack shown by Minh Lê in Drawn Together, that obviously neither the grandfather nor his grandson have been taught, have learned how to communicate in both Vietnamese and English in even a very simple and basic manner, as that to and for me should be the respectful and the right way to proceed, to show that both languages, that both Vietnamese and English are equally deserving of being taught and learned and that in particular, the little boy's parents should in my opinion and definitely have made him learn both a bit of Vietnamese and to also have taught him to appreciate Vietnamese cuisine as being part of his culture. Thus, while as mentioned above, I do appreciate how with art, the little boy and his grandfather find understanding, appreciation of one another and good companionship even though they cannot verbally communicate in the same language (and while I have and for me surprisingly at that absolutely loved Dan Santat's accompanying illustrations, which are imaginative and visually awe-inspiring without feeling and looking aesthetically artificial and contrived), I do have to admit that indeed, I would enjoy Drawn Together considerably more if there had been at least some vestiges of successful verbal communication between grandson and grandfather depicted by Minh Lê, if the author had shown the grandfather speaking a few words of English to the little boy and the grandson speaking a few words of Vietnamese to the grandfather (and indeed, a few simple phrases of greeting and other such common expressions would suffice).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I absolutely loved this book! I wish I was an artist so I could draw a picture to show how I feel! An important book, it transcends the grandparent-grandchild relationship and reminds us that, at heart, we may have something in common with everyone we meet, regardless of perceived barriers. The art it outstanding and was deserving of a Caldecott nod, IMO. (view spoiler)[ On one hand, I felt it was a bit odd the boy and grandfather did not know even a few words from one another's languages to shar I absolutely loved this book! I wish I was an artist so I could draw a picture to show how I feel! An important book, it transcends the grandparent-grandchild relationship and reminds us that, at heart, we may have something in common with everyone we meet, regardless of perceived barriers. The art it outstanding and was deserving of a Caldecott nod, IMO. (view spoiler)[ On one hand, I felt it was a bit odd the boy and grandfather did not know even a few words from one another's languages to share. In some ways, I found that problematic. Ideally, I would have thought that would be a sign of respect and kindness to do so. However, it did not cloud my overall enjoyment of the story. I guess I kind of filled in my own backstory. Maybe the grandfather was new to America and it was challenging for him to use English? Maybe the grandson had been taught a bit of Vietnamese but was too sulky or stubborn to use it? The grandfather seems happy to see his grandson, but the grandson doesn't look thrilled to be there. I think a lot of grandchildren could relate to that feeling of not being sure how to communicate with an elderly relative, even if they share the same language. To me, the language was not the real barrier, because I think that could have been surmounted in other ways if they had really wanted to communicate. To me, the ultimate barrier was that they believed they had nothing in common and nothing to share with one another. When they found their shared passion for art, it unlocked all the love they had for one another, all that hidden desire to connect and share and commune. I thought it was beautiful! . (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Trudie

    Another fantastic illustrated children's book that I would never have looked at if not for Read Harder. It is a book of very few words which is of course the point. This adorable grandfather-grandson story is mostly conveyed in these lush and beautiful drawings by Caldecott medalist Dan Santat. For such a short and apparently simple book I found it very moving.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    A grandson and his grandfather, initially not finding much to say or do with each other, end up connecting though their love of drawing and painting. The images are bold with brilliant colours, and this book left me smiling.

  7. 5 out of 5

    La Coccinelle

    This is a strong picture book about a boy and his grandfather. Though they don't speak the same language with their mouths, they manage to find a way to communicate with each other and have an adventure through their shared love of art. Good portions of the book don't have any text at all, which is just fine; the pictures tell the story very well. I like how the boy and his grandfather each have a different style of drawing. But they're eventually able to bridge the gap between them and even lear This is a strong picture book about a boy and his grandfather. Though they don't speak the same language with their mouths, they manage to find a way to communicate with each other and have an adventure through their shared love of art. Good portions of the book don't have any text at all, which is just fine; the pictures tell the story very well. I like how the boy and his grandfather each have a different style of drawing. But they're eventually able to bridge the gap between them and even learn from each other a little bit. Their drawings take them on a grand adventure that's colourful and exciting, and the book ends with a nice resolution and a promise of more fun times ahead for the intergenerational friends. The lovely artwork and timeless message make this a book that would be great to read again and again. I highly recommend giving this one a try. Quotable moment:

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    Bridging the generation gap is difficult in the best of times, but when you don't speak the same language as your grandparents there is an added complexity to the situation. So many immigrant families face this challenge and I loved that this picture book tackled this topic head on. This is the story of a young boy and his Grandpa. There is a lot of silence between them, and they are unknowable to each other. When they discover a shared passion for art, a bridge starts to build across the gap. I Bridging the generation gap is difficult in the best of times, but when you don't speak the same language as your grandparents there is an added complexity to the situation. So many immigrant families face this challenge and I loved that this picture book tackled this topic head on. This is the story of a young boy and his Grandpa. There is a lot of silence between them, and they are unknowable to each other. When they discover a shared passion for art, a bridge starts to build across the gap. I love that their connection is still wordless, that art bridges language barriers. The art is lovely and the I especially liked that the two have such different styles - new world and old merging together. A lovely tale about the magic and power of art and connection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    A boy and his grandfather don't speak the same language, but find a way to connect through drawing. Magnificent illustrations.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    A young boy and his grandfather, not speaking the same language, have difficulty communicating with one another in this second picture-book from author Minh Lê, who made his debut with Let Me Finish! . When the boy begins to draw himself as a modern superhero, while visiting with his grandfather, the older man becomes excited and grabs his own sketchbook, in which he is depicted as a traditional Thai fighter. Through their artwork, boy and man make a connection, and manage to cross the divide A young boy and his grandfather, not speaking the same language, have difficulty communicating with one another in this second picture-book from author Minh Lê, who made his debut with Let Me Finish! . When the boy begins to draw himself as a modern superhero, while visiting with his grandfather, the older man becomes excited and grabs his own sketchbook, in which he is depicted as a traditional Thai fighter. Through their artwork, boy and man make a connection, and manage to cross the divide between them... A lovely book, one which pairs a minimal but evocative text with gorgeous artwork, Drawn Together addresses a number of key themes, from the relationship between the generations, and across cultures, to the power of art to cross barriers of all kinds. I was a little surprised at first, given the fact that Minh Lê was Vietnamese-American, that Dan Santat's artwork was inspired by Thai culture, and featured some Thai text, but then, there's something universal about the story, so I suppose he could have used any number of cultural background to adequately explore the themes. I did appreciate that the Thai text is translated on the colophon, and think that a knowledge of what the grandfather is saying adds to the story, especially in the scene in which he and his grandson are essentially saying the same thing. This is definitely one I would add to my short-list for this year's Caldecott. We'll see... Recommended to anyone looking for beautifully-illustrated picture-books, and children's stories addressing intergenerational and cross-cultural relationships and the power of art to aid in communication.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    So wonderful, this book about a grandparent, from the child's point of view*. Lovely concept from Minh Le, and Dan Santat has truly outdone himself with these illustrations. *Pair with Nana in the City, by Lauren Castillo. So wonderful, this book about a grandparent, from the child's point of view*. Lovely concept from Minh Le, and Dan Santat has truly outdone himself with these illustrations. *Pair with Nana in the City, by Lauren Castillo.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    A gorgeous picture book about a grandfather and grandson who speak different languages but learn to communicate through their art. A poignant celebration of what can bring us together rather than divide us. An uplifting story that can be appreciated by readers of all ages.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chance Lee

    Touching story about bridging a gap between ages, languages, and cultures.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Benji Martin

    A powerful book about finding common ground despite age and culture barriers. Definitely a 2019 Caldecott contender.

  15. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    One of the most tender stories about grandparent-grandchild relationships, generational differences, and cultural differences I have ever read - and it is only 34 pages. A must-read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dee Dee G

    Art can work wonders for communication. I liked this a lot.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    Drawn Together is a new children's picture book from author Minh Lê and illustrator Dan Santat. Before Little Guy and Gramma turned the first page we talked about the images on the cover - what would we find inside. As well as the dual meaning of 'drawn'. Who do you think the two people on the cover could be? What about the 'elf' with the wand be? And the 'scary' black and white character? The flyleaf has some crayon scribble illustrations that are so real, Little Guy thought someone had colored i Drawn Together is a new children's picture book from author Minh Lê and illustrator Dan Santat. Before Little Guy and Gramma turned the first page we talked about the images on the cover - what would we find inside. As well as the dual meaning of 'drawn'. Who do you think the two people on the cover could be? What about the 'elf' with the wand be? And the 'scary' black and white character? The flyleaf has some crayon scribble illustrations that are so real, Little Guy thought someone had colored inside! There is very little text in Drawn Together, asking the reader to tell much of the story through observing, imagining and wondering about the illustrations. What a great idea! The Grandpa and grandson have differences - food, language, interests etc. Little Guy is quite intuitive when it comes to facial expressions and really focused on these. We kept turning pages asking each other - what do you think? They discover they can communicate through drawing. "All the things we could never say come pouring out....and we build a new world that words can't describe." Heroes and mythical creatures illustrate the connection and divide between the two. Little Guy is quite literal and was a bit frightened by the dragon. But subsequent pages have the dragon defeated and the distance between the two conquered. Gramma thought the concept of Drawn Together was excellent - one that can be used in so many life situations. Caldecott Medalist Santat's illustrations are detailed and very beautiful - a perfect accompaniment.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is a wonderful and heartwarming story, told using few words and lots of pictures, that shows how art can help to bridge the divide in communication between generations and cultures. Dan Santat's illustrations are marvelous and mezmerizing, "created in traditional mixed media and composited on the computer." It is obvious that the author, Minh Lê, communicated his vision for the story in depth with Mr. Santat, because the message really comes through very well. Overall, it's a visual feast fo This is a wonderful and heartwarming story, told using few words and lots of pictures, that shows how art can help to bridge the divide in communication between generations and cultures. Dan Santat's illustrations are marvelous and mezmerizing, "created in traditional mixed media and composited on the computer." It is obvious that the author, Minh Lê, communicated his vision for the story in depth with Mr. Santat, because the message really comes through very well. Overall, it's a visual feast for the eyes and a sweet story to share with children.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Hansen

    I absolutely love how this grandfather and grandchild come together when they have no words to communicate. The artwork makes me want to fall into the story within the story, and the complete understanding that comes between these two individuals left me somewhat choked up. This is just beautiful, and engages the child to using a wealth of culture, imagination, ideas, family, and finding ways to communicate without words.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Valuable lesson in communicating beyond words - through art, imagination, and storytelling, as a grandfather and grandson who have a frustrating language barrier explore what they have in common by creating a vivid, colorful, fantastical story together. Beautiful illustrations and fantasy world-building in this near-wordless picture book. I love that the heroes of the story they create are an old man and a young boy like themselves.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    With very few words and amazing illustrations, the story of a grandson and grandfather communicating and finding each other through art is absolute magic.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I did like this but I didn't love it. One reason is the inability of the two to use *any* words, as Gundula points out. The other is that the blurb, title, and cover art tell the whole story... I, personally, found no reward inside and am glad it didn't take me too long to find a copy to read. But I do think that the target audiences (youth, immigrants, artists, etc.) will like it more than I did.

  23. 4 out of 5

    KC

    This book was remarkable. A young boy visits his aging grandfather who seems to have lost the ability to make conversation, but the boy soon discovers a new way of communication. My dad has vascular dementia and I find myself often in this same situation. I loved how the author was so delicate and respectful to this issue.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Heise

    Holy wow...Stunning...in both story & illustrations. This is a must-read/must-share picture book about family, communication, bravery, and love. Preorder it now - I'll already call it as one of the best picture books of 2018. I can't wait to share it with kids. Holy wow...Stunning...in both story & illustrations. This is a must-read/must-share picture book about family, communication, bravery, and love. Preorder it now - I'll already call it as one of the best picture books of 2018. I can't wait to share it with kids.

  25. 4 out of 5

    DaNae

    I don't know if I've ever read another picture book where I felt the text utterly unneeded. I know this is Minh Le story but I found his narrative intrusive and unnecessary. Santat showed the complete arc and emotion of the story in his mesmerizing drawings.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anna Smithberger

    Gorgeous book! I don’t think I could do it justice in storytime, so I’ll just have to talk it up to EVERYONE

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    WOW! Powerful, beautiful, leaves ME speechless.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    So few words yet what a poignant book! Really sweet story about art connecting across generations and through language barriers. Yes, it made me cry.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ms. B

    I loved this story about a boy and his grandpa who find common ground through their drawings. It's my pick for the 2019 Caldecott!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Todd Glaeser

    Another amazing book illustrated by Dan Santat, about how art can bring people together!

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