Yoko and her kimono-clad mother have an adventure at the airport at the beginning of their trip to Japan.
The security process exhausts Mama, who falls asleep at the gate, so Yoko goes by herself to the restroom. But when she exits by a different door, she and her mother have some difficulty in finding each other again. Though each runs afoul of the basic principle of search and rescue—stay put—the glitch offers Yoko, and by extension young readers, an opportunity to be independent and resourceful. Yoko finds her way to the airport police, while her mother enlists the reassurances of several helpful workers, and they are comfortably reunited. For some reason, everyone in this airport, unlike at Yoko’s school, is a cat—maybe to minimize the scariness of crowds of strangers? Icons for everything (food, stairs, elevators, terminals, airport police) give readers a chance to note details and to be observant along with Yoko as she figures out what to do. A successful conclusion for the trip and perhaps a recounting to grandmother of the adventure must wait for another book. The rich presentation, from endearing illustration to paper and design to color and touches of gold and silver, celebrates the experience of reading a book; that the story is told in both words and symbols allows young listeners to follow along in complex ways.
A terrific book to share with children preparing for their first flights as well as Yoko’s fans. (Picture book. 3-7)