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Diversity in Literature, Early/Young Readers, Family, Picture Books, Realistic Fiction, STAR OF THE NORTH NOMINEE, Teacher & Parent Recommendations, The Arts

DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Le Illustrated by Dan Santat…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

A grandson unwillingly visits his grandfather, who does not speak English. Bored and resentful, the young boy takes out his sketchbook and:

Right when I gave up on talking, my grandfather surprised me by revealing a world beyond words.

Grandfather and grandson share an ability and love for drawing. They begin to each share their drawings with the other.  The text is minimal, allowing the illustrations to carry most of the narrative in the book–just as their drawings are able to bridge the communication gap between them:

…and we build a new world that even words can’t describe.

Grandfather and grandson come together through their drawings.  When they discover differences within this medium as well, the young boy is panicked at first, given their history.  Santat’s masterful depiction of both characters’ artistic style–each distinctive from the other–truly allows the pictures to tell the story. Both characters find a way through these differences, learning from each other, rather than shutting each other out.

Drawn In is a beautiful story that works as a read-aloud at home, where you can spend more time on the individual illustrations, or at school where it can be used as a springboard to artistic style, communication through visual art and how to overcome differences that seem insurmountable.



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