Erin Reilly-Sanders's Reviews > Tsunami!

Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa
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's review
Aug 06, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: picturebook, foreign, non-fiction

I really love the story- its message of people being more important than wealth is really beautiful. Ed Young's pictures, as always are beautiful. Despite using a collage style, the characters have a lot of individuality and expression unlike some others that I've read recently, Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson coming to mind. However, as beautiful as they are, they are usually too busy to appreciate. The people hidden behind the ocean spray on one set of pages are almost indistinguishable. The series of all full page spread becomes a little monotonous but is not anywhere near unbearable. The business also results in poor book design. Because there is too much "action" in each picture, the words are relegated to a strip at the bottom of the page, leaving them out of the excitement. My three favourite spreads are those with the least going on in the picture. Two are of the farmer and his grandson alone looking over their fields and the other cuts off the strip of text at the bottom to present the long lines of the land and ocean against the empty black of the night. It's quite striking, except that when one looks closely, the tsunami wave seems to be four or five times taller than the mountain that the people are taking refuge on, unless that is supposed to be a line of clouds. In any case, the restricted bits of colour do a great job of making the human settlement seem small and insignificant in comparison to the giant forces of nature. Restraint really goes a lot further than over-stimulation.

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