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Tsunami!    by Kimiko Kajikawa & Ed Young order for
by Kimiko Kajikawa
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2009 (2009)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Author Kimiko Kajikawa and illustrator Ed Young have teamed to create the engaging and inspiring book, Tsunami! Based on a story by Lafcadio Hearn, this account of unselfish sacrifice on behalf of others engages readers immediately.

Kajikawa's skillful storytelling relates the tale of a wealthy, wise, and respected village elder who from his hilltop home recognizes the signs of impending disaster. Ojiisan feels the earthquake, but there have been countless earthquakes. He is uneasy this time, however. Soon, he sees the sea running away from the beach. A tsunami is sure to destroy the village, a village now in the midst of a loud celebration. The villagers can't hear his warning cries. How can he warn them? He doesn't hesitate. He makes a great personal sacrifice to save the people.

Complementing Kajikawa's exceptional prose is Ed Young's dazzling artwork. The illustrations are textured, layered and richly colored paper collages embellished with charcoal. Somehow, Young manages to incorporate fine detail as well, patterns on clothing, expressions on faces, and other feats of artistic ability.

Tsunami! is a book perfect for introducing Japanese culture, moral excellence, and the virtues of respect for the elderly, and community responsibility to young ones. And it's all embedded within a fascinating story children won't be able to put down.

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