"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review: DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Le and Illustrated by Dan Santat (C)

*An Advanced Reader Copy of DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Le was sent to me by the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for free for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. Any problems, questions, etc. please contact me via email - 
thebumblegirl@rocketmail.com. Thank you! 

by Minh Le
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Release date: June 5th, 2018
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: ARC from the publisher.


"Sometimes you don't need words to find common ground."

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 Le and luminous illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this stirring picture book about reaching across barriers will be cherished for years to come.


*An ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of DRAWN TOGETHER was sent to me by the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for free for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. 

There have been so many sweet and heartwarming picture books lately. But, DRAWN TOGETHER, is definitely the most endearing and inspiring story that we have read! 

DRAWN TOGETHER is about a little boy who often goes to visit his grandfather, but doesn't enjoy doing so because they don't speak the same language. It is awkward and uncomfortable to watch them try and fail to communicate, heartbreaking too. Until they find out that they have something in common! When the grandfather realizes that they may have something in common that can bring them together the boy starts to narrate their story from this point on. The slow build up to this point and how the story starts to unfold is so beautiful to witness.

The best thing about this book is that it truly lets the reader feel what the main characters are going through with each other. How uneasy they felt, and how upset they are with themselves for not being able to communicate easily with one another. 

As a person who has witnessed this first hand, it is truly frustrating and heartbreaking to see someone you love not be able to speak easily with someone that they could connect with and love unconditionally. (I'm speaking about my husband and his Italian grandmother, he never learned how to speak Italian, and she never learned English). Watching them struggle to communicate but still see the love that they have for one another is bittersweet. The stories that they could have shared would have been wonderful to witness... 
I have also experienced what a blessing it is to be able to communicate with loved ones in another language. I am forever thankful and grateful that my parents decided to teach me English and Spanish from the moment I was born. I was able to speak with my grandparents and relatives from the moment I was able to speak. Being able to form loving relationships with family and being able to embrace my family's culture is something that I will always cherish. 

The illustrations! Dan Santat one of our most favorite illustrators and authors and he has really outdone himself with DRAWN TOGETHER... not only are the illustrations of the story stunning, bold, and engaging, there is also a story within the story! When the main characters "takeover" with there own illustrations and show us not only their style of art but how they are feeling, what they are going through with each other - it is so endearing and eye-opening. There is so much to discuss, see and learn from. It is by far one of our favorite stories to go to; because every time we re-read the story and take another look, there is always something new that catches our eye or we learn more about the characters and what they've been through separately and with each other.

Definitely, a book worth picking up! Especially for a family that has aging family members that make it difficult for them to communicate with the younger generation, and vice versa. This book is full of hope! And the realization that there can be something that people can have in common and help bridge the gap to connect with one another. And, it definitely encourages everyone to embrace your family, cultures, languages and more. Don't let traditions disappear with the next generation - all it takes is a little love, determination, and devotion to keep it going. 


Minh Le is a writer but - like his grandfather - a man of few words. 

A first-generation Vietnamese-American, he is a national early childhood policy expert, author of LET ME FINISH!, and has written for the New York Times, the Horn Book, and the Huffington Post. 

Outside of spending time with his beautiful wife and sons in their home near Washington, DC, Minh's favorite place to be is in the middle of a good book. 



Dan Santat is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Award-winning THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIENDS, as well as THE COOKIE FIASCO, ARE WE THERE YETI?, and others. He is also the creator of Disney's animated hit THE REPLACEMENTS.

Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and two dogs. 


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