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Kamishibai Man
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Kamishibai Man

By Allen Say
2005, 32 pages, Hardback.
Book Description from Back Cover
From the Book's Foreward
About the Author

ORDER -- Item #3319, Price $17.00

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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

"Come gather around me, little ones, your kamishibai man is here again!"

Clack, clack!

"Come get your sweets and listen to my stories!"

Clack, clack, clack!

Long ago, children in Japan would come running at the sound of the kamishibai man's wooden clappers, eager for his stories and his sweets. But as time went by, fewer children gathered around, until there was only one small boy left. After that, the storyteller stopped riding his bicycle into town. Though many years have passed, he still longs to be a kamishibai man again, and so he returns to the city to share his stories one more time.

So gather around and let Kamishibai Man introduce you to the wonder of "paper theater" and the joyful rediscovery and celebration of the special relationship between a storyteller and his audience.

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From the Book's Foreward

When I think of my childhood in Japan, I think of kamishibai. It means "paper theater." Every afternoon, the kamishibai man came on a bicycle that had a big wooden box mounted on the back seat. The box had drawers full of candies and a stage at the top. We brought candies and listened to the man's stories.

As he told the stories, the kamishibai man would slide out the picture cards in the stage one by one and put them in the back, like shuffling a deck of cards. The stories were actually one never-ending tale, with each installment ending with the hero or heroine hanging from a cliff or getting pushed off it.

"To be continued," the kamishibai man would say with a grin, and we children would groan, but not too much. Tomorrow the hero and heroine would be saved for new adventures, and we would have our candies.

Yes, they were cliffhangers. So when I came to America, that was one expression that nobody had to explain to me. Today, any sort of cliffhanger reminds me of the happy memories that kamishibai had given me. And with this book, though it has no high cliffs, let me be your "paper theater man" for a day. You'll have to get your own sweets.

- Allen Say.

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