Friday, February 20, 2009


TSUNAMI! Kajikawa, Komiko; illustrated by Ed Young; New York: Philomel, 2009. unpaged.

Adapted from Lafcadio Hearn's story, "A Living God," Tsunami! is the story not only of anfrightening natural disaster, but of the man who sacrificed all he had to save his friends. Ojiisan is the grandfather of his village--kind, wise, and wealthy, he lives in a modest house on the hillside. One day while the villagers are celebrating the rice festival on the beach, Ojiisan feels the tremor of an earthquake and sees the ocean drawing back from the shore. Knowing a tidal wave is coming, he sets his fields on fire so the villagers will run to his aid and escape the coming death. The story is simply but beautifully told and Ed Young's cut-paper illustrations are eerily reminiscent of the 2004 tsunami. The black wall of water capped with foam and rising above the village will take your breath away. Tsunami! is a powerful, beautiful book, an enduring story of terror, sacrifice and salvation.

1 comment:

nsl said...

Laura - you're the review goddess, I grovel at your feet! I aspire to write as well as you.