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THE SOMEBODY FOR ME by Minako Chiba

THE SOMEBODY FOR ME

By Minako Chiba (Author) , Minako Chiba (Illustrator) , Hana Christen (Translator) , Susan Pearson (Adaptor)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2323-5
Publisher: NorthSouth

Peculiarly textured illustrations add amorphous undercurrents to this classic plot about an ownerless toy. “[H]appy toy maker” Miss Mika wishes aloud that her dolls will be happy too, prompting animal-eared, stripe-legged doll Sumiko (still being sewn) to ask what that means. “Happy is how you feel when somebody loves you,” explains Miss Mika. Sumiko waits, first patiently and then despondently, for “the somebody for me.” Other dolls are adopted while Sumiko gathers dust. She sometimes feels “as if her heart was in prison,” depicted literally as jail. Her perfect somebody finally arrives, bringing a happy ending in the text and pictures’ content, but the visual vibe is harder to read. Swaths of curved lines arc across every page, as if a fine-toothed comb or a thick-bristled, dry brush skimmed over wet paint. These horizontally arched hatchings cover not just backgrounds but figures and faces. When lonely grays become relieved and joyous yellows, the continued hatchings feel breezy but never peaceful. A little aesthetically unsettling but still sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)