My niece informed me that she wants to give this book five stars, so five stars it is! She was quite taken with Tsunami, which is a based on a true story about a man named Hamaguchi Goryou
who, in 1854, saved many in his village from a tsunami that followed an earthquake.
As the danger of the tsunami grew in this book, my niece tumbled further into the story, and by the time the tsunami struck the village, she was literally sitting on the edge of her seat, just about as close to the book as she could get. The composition of this story is extremely well done, and the author Kimiko Kajikawa
does a fantastic job of crafting her words to portray the frantic efforts of Ojiisan to save his fellow villagers from serious danger.
While the words allow for a powerful verbal build-up of the story, the pictures in this book provide an extremely impactful visual sense of the danger faced by the villagers in Ojiisan's village. Various materials are used in the creation of the pictures, from papers, to fibers, to natural plant materials. The colors are sometimes arrestingly vivid, and other times ominously dark. The colors and images are used to masterfully evoke the various moods and emotions that the words are setting forth. The wordless double page showing a huge, dark tsunami angrily rolling toward a tiny village is stunning, and the illustrator Ed Young
's ability to show the movement and destruction of the wave as it hits the shore is beautiful and remarkable. My niece found the story and the pictures to be so inspiring that she pulled out a pencil and paper and began trying to draw some of the images she was seeing on these pages. This is just a wonderfully done, beautiful book.