Francois Place

Books: Children's

The Old Man Mad About Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai (2004)

The Old Man Mad About Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai (2004) translated by William Rodarmor

I got this book solely on the recommendation of Jim at the Bookshelf, who said he thought I would like it (several years ago I had been looking for the story “The Boy Who Drew Cats” which I remembered from a reading book in elementary school.) So I purchased a copy (the older I get, and the more disposable income I have, the happier Jim is to see me.)

The story is not only delightful, the artwork is delightful, combining new artwork, with photographs with of original artists drawings.

Tojiro, a young boy who sells rice cakes on the street, meets and eventually becomes an assistant to Katsuhika Hokusai, the Old Man Mad About Drawing.

“Hey, enough of that sparrow! I didn’t take you in so you could make fun of me! Are you provoking me? Very well, en garde! Defend yourself! We’ll see if you have what it takes to be a samurai!”

As if possessed by the demon of the dance, the old painter and Tojiro began to circle each other, each threatening the other with the tip of a paintbrush. An attack was launched: hop! A quick step to the side. Entrechats, grimaces, parries, offensives — they didn’t miss a trick.

I believe that I am going to get this book for the small people in my life–once they grow old enough to appreciate it.

Published by David R Godine