Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Enchanting Review: Wabi Sabi

Art by Ed Young
Children’s (ages 4-8)
Little, Brown
ISBN# 978-0-316-11825-5
40 Pages
Hardcover--Available Now

Rating: 4 Enchantments

WABI SABI is the story of a cat by the same name, who after hearing a conversation her owner has with friends about her unusual name decides to go out in search of the true meaning of Wabi Sabi. Along the way she asks fellow feline Snowball, Rascal the dog and even wise old monkey Kosho who all share with her their personal meaning of Wabi Sabi, which are all told in beautiful Haiku style. Once she’s satisfied with her answers from her friends, Wabi Sabi finally returns home, content with her newfound knowledge.

I think WABI SABI is the most unique children’s book I’ve ever seen and one that many will no doubt enjoy. I would say though that this is one children’s book that has a higher reading level to it to go along with its message of Wabi Sabi, the art of finding “beauty and harmony” in what is simple. The accompanying illustrations, which are actually collages made from natural and manmade materials, are truly beautiful to look at and compliment the story really well.

Mark Reibstein is an English teacher and writer who has lived in New York, California, Hawaii, Japan, and Thailand. Now Mark and his daughter live near San Francisco with their good friend Arlo, who is also a cat. This is his first picture book.

Ed Young has illustrated for over 70 books and has been awarded the Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po and the Caldecott Honors for Seven Blind Mice and The Emperor and the Kite. He lives in upstate New York with his daughters.

Enchanting Reviews
September 2008

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