Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young
Wabi Sabi the cat wants to know the meaning of his name. She asks her master and several of the animals near her home, but no one tells her. Everyone gives her an excuse of "it's hard to explain" or "you'll never understand." A bird directs Wabi Sabi to visit Kosho for the answer he desires.
So Wabi Sabi sets out on her journey and Kosho explains to her what her name truly means.
What I Thought: This book is simply amazing. The illustrations in the book are will simply take your breathe away. Young makes the story simply come to life and makes the concept of Wabi Sabi real. They are peaceful and interesting, spectacular. I also love how the book laid out vertically, and not the normal horizontal layout.
Check out this blog where Ed Young is interviewed and explains further about the illustrations, as well as the story about how Young submitted his work only for it to be misplaced and him having to redo the work. (It's an interesting story, definitely check it out.)
Another great thing about this book is that each page includes two haiku poems that accents the storyline. One haiku is in English, while another one is written in Japanese symbols. The symbols are translated at the end of the book both in Japanese and English. There is also a wonderful explanations of the haiku poem and the concept of Wabi Sabi.
This picture book could be used in so many ways. I plan to use it this summer with school aged children at the library as we practice writing haiku poems and Japanese symbols. And I can't wait to see how the kiddos like it!
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