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Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, and he dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of 6. When he was 12, he apprenticed for his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. In 1972, Say illustrated his first children's book, and until 1987 was a part-time illustrator. That year, while illustrating "The Boy of the Three-Year Nap," which won a Caldecott Honor in 1989, he decided to work full-time on what he most liked to do: writing and illustrating children's books. His newest is "Drawing from Memory" (Scholastic).