Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Boy in the Garden

The Boy in the Garden
by Allen Say
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010. Unpaged. Picture book.

A little boy visits a famous garden. In the garden he sees a crane and tries to sneak up on it. It stays still and finally he realizes that it is a statue. He is embarrassed by his mistake and runs to hide in a little tea house. While there he sees a beautiful woman and discovers that she is the crane woman from a well known Japanese folk tale. She gives him a coat and he takes the role of the woodcutter in the story. Then he wakes up and realizes it has all been a dream. This book is illustrated in the same realistic style as Say's Caldecott winner, Grandfather's Journey (Houghton Mifflin, 1993). The illustrations are carefully crafted watercolors done with translucent greens, yellows and rosy gray tones. The choice of colors and composition gives all the illustrations a restful, calm feeling. This is a lovely introduction to another culture.

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