Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. At age twelve he apprenticed himself to Noro Shinpei, a cartoonist whom he greatly admired. This period marked the beginning of his serious training in the arts and was to prove pivotal in Say's life. At he sixteen moved to California with his father's family. Say had already illustrated several books, working on a part-time basis, when he won a Caldecott Honor Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award as illustrator of The Boy of the Three-Year Nap. At this point he decided to write and illustrate children's books full-time and since then he has won many more accolades, including the 1994 Caldecott Medal for Grandfather's Journey. In addition to exploring his own life and memories, Say has written on a wide range of subjects. He lives in Portland, Oregon.