The Japanese American National Museum will host a virtual launch of Caldecott Medal winner Allen Say’s newest book, “Miss Irwin,” on Saturday, April 22, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

As a young woman, Miss Irwin was a kindergarten teacher who loved introducing the world of discovery to her students. As a grandmother, she often reflects on her wonderful days exploring with her students.

Allen Say

When her grandson asks her about a mysterious box on the shelf, she gets lost in memory and her mind transports her back in time to when she was Miss Irwin. At first her grandson is confused, but remembers his grandmother’s forgetfulness and plays along as the student who made the bird’s nest inside the white box.

Say’s breathtaking artwork and emotionally powerful and thoughtful text gently weave a touching story about memory and family. Together, the grandmother and grandson rejoice in the meaning and beauty of memory before all is lost. “Miss Irwin” helps readers of all ages better understand and interact with loved ones who are experiencing memory loss.

After the reading of the new book, Say will be in conversation around the resonant themes of this book and the process of painting and creating this story. He will be joined by Lori Benton, vice president and publisher for Scholastic Trade Publishing and Say’s long-time friend and collaborator, and Ken Geist, vice president publisher at large at Scholastic and editor of Miss Irwin.

The JANM Book Club is a series of public programs that highlight new publications by Japanese Americans or related to Japanese American history and culture.

“Miss Irwin” will be available in the JANM Store, where Say’s other books are also available now. Limited signed copies will be available.

Say is best known for “Grandfather’s Journey,” a children’s picture book detailing his grandfather’s voyage from Japan to the U.S. and back again, which won the 1994 Caldecott Medal for illustration.

Free. RSVP here:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *