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Putting Grunge Back in Art with Allen Say

Allen Say

Travis: When I first opened an advance copy Allen Say’s latest book, Silent Days, Silent Dreams, (out October 31st) I was taken aback – it’s unlike anything the artist has made before.

Silent Days Cover

Blame it on American artist James Castle, whom the book is about. Say channeled Castle so thoroughly that I assumed the book contained reproductions of Castle’s work (it doesn’t – it’s all Say). Have a look:

It was an honor to sit down with the Caldecott Medal winner and talk about how this book was created, and how at age 79 James Castle helped Say put the grunge back in his art.

We hope you enjoy.

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Allen Say is so amazing. One of my all-time favorite author illustrators.


  1. […] picture book biography of the artist, Silent Days, Silent Dreams (a book we talked to Say about in this episode of The Yarn podcast). Click here to […]

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