A memorable day at the river with the whole family.
A little girl named Yu-Chan, barely older than a toddler, narrates the adventure with beautifully childlike ingenuousness. Spotting a bright orange butterfly perched on a stone, she tries to touch it, but of course it flies away. While Mommy unpacks the family's supplies on the beach and Daddy and Yu-Chan's brother wade in the shallow water, she follows the butterfly through a meadow of tall green grass and plants, the leaves on the ground tickling her ankles. The greenery is so tall that only Yu-Chan's white hat is visible above it. The wind blows, rustling the leaves, and the meadow sways like the waves of the sea. A grasshopper jumps onto her arm but doesn't stay long; he boings away. Yu-Chan has been away for what feels like a long time; she hears a cacophony of sounds, but they all seem very far away. Suddenly she's afraid and starts to cry; it's the perfect time for Mommy to appear. They walk back to the river, hand in hand. Sakai uses acrylic paints and oil pencils to create softly lyrical illustrations that surpass the appropriately minimal text in beauty and elegance.
This immersive experience is the first in a proposed series of nature books; a welcome addition. (Picture book. 3-6)