In this French import, eye-catching, detailed artwork illuminates a sweet story about a girl, her grandfather, and an elusive bedtime.
Miyuki, like most young children, is too busy to bother with bedtime. She has “so much to do.” Her patient grandfather tells her again and again, “Miyuki, it’s time for bed.” Instead, Miyuki wants to make a canopy for the Dragonfly Queen, water her carrots and turnips, “gather the whole Snail family together,” and “dance the last dance of the day.” Natural elements such as the sun, flowers, a nightingale, and more appear in watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations full of fine, luminous details that immerse readers in their world. Nearly every spread features an icon of Japanese culture, including the often familiar (a doll in a traditional kimono, an origami crane, a bento box) as well as those that are perhaps less so: a maneki-neko figurine, a koinobori (or carp kite), and a pair of flip-flop–like zori. Fittingly, these icons are not explained even though this is not an #ownvoices book; rather the icons fit together like a puzzle to form a cultural backdrop for Miyuki’s universal, accessible problem—how to avoid bedtime at all costs. Clever readers will appreciate the story within a story and imagine what they might do in Miyuki’s shoes.
A gentle story about bedtime that sweetly captures the importance of nature, family, and childhood in Japanese culture. (Picture book. 5-8)