An import from Japan, published here in a bilingual edition. A white bench beneath a tree in a busy, attractive city park provides the focus for a day's activities: early exercisers as the dawn's mist dissolves in sunshine, a rotund worker who arrives with a cart full of flowers to plant, elderly bench-sitters and young mothers, a busy lunch crowd, an exuberant group of after-school children who zoom across one lefthand page to gather in a gleeful (and beautifully designed) heap on the bench at the right to share some joy or plot. There's much to see in the myriad details of activities and people, and much to learn from the close parallel with any similar American park. The illustrations make creative use of an interesting variety of techniques: almost monochromatic tones for dark, rain, and mist; series of frames for miniature stories within the story; figures silhouetted against the white of text pages; double spreads with various points of view. The charming, brown-overalled park attendant and the day's cycle provide continuity. A fine cross-cultural contribution; the decision to include the text in both languages will extend its use.