Sato the Rabbit: The Moon by Yuki Ainoya

Cover image for Sato the Rabbit: The Moon.

Sato the Rabbit: The Moon by Yuki Ainoya (9781592703067)

This is the second book in the Sato the Rabbit trilogy. In a series of chapters, Sato explores the world around him. When the moon disappears into a nearby thicket, Sato pulls it out and makes it into a boat. Exploring a brown, dry field, he discovers a green sprout that turns like a screw and soon green is popping up all around. On a rainy day, Sato sets up a rain party where he captures the sheets of rain with ribbons. Other stories have fallen leaves that roll up into a rug, the moon turned into a blanket, and the wonder of a hole in a hat.

This Japanese picture book series is surprising and surreal. Just when you think you know where each of the short chapters is headed, a page turn takes it in an entirely different direction. It’s these little surprises along the way that make the book so charming. Each chapter features Sato doing amazing things with regular items we interact with in our world too.

The illustrations add to the fun of the surreal stories. They make what is being said in the brief text come alive as wondrous things happen in each story.

A charming addition to the Sato series. Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy provided by Enchanted Lion Books.

Review: Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

rules of summer

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Enter the surreal world of two brothers with a picture told in few words and many pictures.  The book takes place in the previous summer and explains what one of the brothers learned that summer.  The lessons are strange, but the images are even wilder.  The first lesson is “Never leave a red sock on the clothesline.”  It is accompanied by a wonderful and magnificently creepy image of a huge rabbit the size of a house with a red eye staring over the wall as the two brothers cower on the other side.  As the pages turn, the world gets odder and odder, forming a cohesive world but one that surprises, horrifies and delights.

As Tan blends humor with his frightening images, one starts to see a world that is beyond our own and yet strangely parallel.  These brothers live in a different world, one with its own rules and laws but one that is hauntingly familiar to our own.  Perhaps my favorite series of images is the series of pictures for “Never wait for an apology” where the younger brother is padlocked in a small steam engine with smoke pouring from the smokestack.  Black birds fly past.  Since all of the other images were done as single picture, I didn’t expect to turn the page and see the image continue from farther away.  It all evoked so brilliantly the loneliness, the trapped feeling, the isolation of waiting for an apology. 

Tan continues to surprise and delight in this new picture book.  While not for everyone, there are some children who will adore this skewed world that speaks to our own.  Appropriate for ages 6-10.

Reviewed from copy received from Arthur A. Levine Books.