Esther's Reviews > Tsunami!

Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa
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's review
Mar 09, 11

liked it
bookshelves: asian-american

Published in 2009 by Philomel
Interest Level: 5th-8th Grade

This was an interesting perspective of a Tsunami and its effect on people. The main characters of the story, the grandfather and grandson, set fire to their grain to save the villagers who are to busy celebrating in a festival to realize that a giant Tsunami wave is coming. I was somewhat confused by the story, since in my understanding a Tsunami is a hurricane, but then I realized that it is a giant tidal wave. The illustrations are in a collage form that makes for quite crowded illustrations that are distracting from the story for me. The story is relegated to a small area at the bottom of the page and the collage illustrations take up the entire two-page spread. I also had a problem with the way the grandfather and grandson were illustrated, since their skin color continued to change throughout the book (they started out brown and went to an orange-red color). I am not sure how culturally authentic this method of illustration or use of color was, but the story seemed to be authentic. I wish there had been more development of culture in the story besides including some Japanese words and a Japanese festival.
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message 1: by Gabrielle (new) - added it

Gabrielle This sounds like an interesting and timely book. You mentioned the inauthenticity of the illustrations. Is the illustrator Asian?

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