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Tsunami!

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Ojiisan, the oldest and wealthiest man in the village, doesn?t join the others at the rice ceremony. Instead he watches from his balcony. He feels something is coming?something he can?t describe. When he sees the monster wave pulling away from the beach, he knows. Tsunami! But the villagers below can?t see the danger. Will Ojiisan risk everything he has to save them? Can h Ojiisan, the oldest and wealthiest man in the village, doesn?t join the others at the rice ceremony. Instead he watches from his balcony. He feels something is coming?something he can?t describe. When he sees the monster wave pulling away from the beach, he knows. Tsunami! But the villagers below can?t see the danger. Will Ojiisan risk everything he has to save them? Can he? Illustrated in stunning collage by Caldecott winner Ed Young, here is the unforgettable story of how one man?s simple sacrifi ce saved hundreds of lives. An extraordinary celebration of both the power of nature and the power each of us holds within.


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Ojiisan, the oldest and wealthiest man in the village, doesn?t join the others at the rice ceremony. Instead he watches from his balcony. He feels something is coming?something he can?t describe. When he sees the monster wave pulling away from the beach, he knows. Tsunami! But the villagers below can?t see the danger. Will Ojiisan risk everything he has to save them? Can h Ojiisan, the oldest and wealthiest man in the village, doesn?t join the others at the rice ceremony. Instead he watches from his balcony. He feels something is coming?something he can?t describe. When he sees the monster wave pulling away from the beach, he knows. Tsunami! But the villagers below can?t see the danger. Will Ojiisan risk everything he has to save them? Can he? Illustrated in stunning collage by Caldecott winner Ed Young, here is the unforgettable story of how one man?s simple sacrifi ce saved hundreds of lives. An extraordinary celebration of both the power of nature and the power each of us holds within.

30 review for Tsunami!

  1. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    The purpose of a picture book? Think carefully now. The answer’s not going to jump up and bite you on the bum. Does it exist primarily to instill a love of literature? A love of art? To teach children to read? Is it an artistic form in and of itself, separate entirely from its practical purposes? Is it made to please adults with children as a secondhand afterthought, or does it please all persons regardless of age? Such questions do not always come up after reading one of these 32-odd page creat The purpose of a picture book? Think carefully now. The answer’s not going to jump up and bite you on the bum. Does it exist primarily to instill a love of literature? A love of art? To teach children to read? Is it an artistic form in and of itself, separate entirely from its practical purposes? Is it made to please adults with children as a secondhand afterthought, or does it please all persons regardless of age? Such questions do not always come up after reading one of these 32-odd page creations. To be perfectly honest, I am rarely challenged when a read a Seuss, a Willems, or a Scarry (sorry, y’all). And then I’ll pick up something that doesn’t follow conventional rules or patterns. Maurice Sendak will have such an effect on my brain. So too, but for entirely different reasons, will Ed Young. No one questions his talent, but not everyone likes his style, in spite of the fact that that very style changes from book to book. He might be downright conventional in My Mei Mei then break out the crazy juice for Wabi Sabi. His tales can be as straightforward as Caldecott winner Lon Po Po or as downright brain twistingly loopy as Beyond the Great Mountains. With Young you never know what you’re going to get next. And next, in this particular case, is Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa. A straightforward story with pictures that are anything but. When the rice harvest festival is nigh the villagers all gather on the beach at the foot of a mountain to celebrate. Everyone, that is, except for Ojisan and his grandson. The wealthiest man in the village, Ojisan lives simply and humbly on the top of the mountain with his beautiful fields of rice. On the day of the festival, however, something doesn’t feel right to him. An earthquake occurs, but though he’s felt many before this one seems different. And when he looks at the sea he realizes to his horror that the sea is running away from the land. A tsunami is coming, and all those little people down below will be killed if he doesn’t do something. So by setting fire to his precious rice fields, Ojisan lures the villagers up the mountain just in time to escape the vicious, inhuman disaster that is about to occur. Strange but true fact: After a devastating tsunami wrecks havoc somewhere in the world I will often find several parents asking me for picture books about tsunamis for their children. I’m not entirely certain what impulse is at work here. Scary thing happens ipso facto I shall find a book that will make it not as scary? It doesn’t really matter what the thought process is anyway since we don’t really have any tsunami picture books in my collection. Oh we have hurricane books out the wazoo, sure. Hurricane books are a dime a dozen. But just try to locate a picture book about gigantic waves that crush villages and you are out of luck (ditto on tornadoes, oddly). I can only assume that until now there has been a vague sense in the publishing community that the public is not keen on huge scary natural disasters rendered equally huge and scary on the picture book page. Something must have convinced Philomel that the market was out there. I just hope the kids who live in coastal areas are clear on what they’re getting themselves into when they read this. Because to be perfectly frank, Ed Young’s art isn’t pulling any punches with this puppy. The cover alone should be enough to convince you of that. Let’s just admire that cover image for a second, shall we? The mixed media really suits it. Mixed media’s such a weird form of art. It all boils down to some artist ripping apart some material and then sticking it onto a flat surface so that it looks like something else entirely. The difficulty in doing this is in making the image look like a three dimensional scene, entirely apart from the three dimensional aspects of the original material itself. No small feat. But for a book about a tsunami, the pairing of mixed media and gigantic destructive waves is ingenious. Little ripped pieces of paper become inanimate victims of a natural disaster. The dwarfing affect is ideal, as is the fact that the rips, snares, and tears all add to the violence of the ocean’s wave. On the cover the crest of the tsunami is constructed out of what looks like the thinnest overlaying of white tissue fibers. You can practically feel the suck of the tide. Brilliant. Inside the book it’s a whole other ballgame. Some images are self-explanatory and easy to understand. When Ojisan sets fire to his rice fields there is no misunderstanding as to what he is doing (to say nothing of the look of confused anguish on his grandson’s face). Other pictures take more work. Ojisan looking down the mountain at the celebration below shows the villagers as no larger than the tiniest squares of confetti. It takes a minute to decipher but it’s still understandable. Far more difficult is the tsunami’s effect itself. When the sea returns “to its ancient bed” we’ve a confusing shot of water, sky, mountain, and villagers. It takes some time to realize which end is up. That’s the difficulty with this book. Young doesn’t feel hampered in by up or down or left or right. Images are meant to be viewed on their side, looking down a path, or viewed from below up up up. Impatient parents will twist and turn this book, deciding in the end that it isn’t worth their time. Smart ones will turn it into a game with their kids, asking them to interpret the more difficult images on their own. I suspect that the adult who goes with the latter plan might learn a little something about the images each time this happens. It’s worth a shot anyway. It’s a little unfair that I’ve spent this much time talking about the art in this book and so little time discussing the writing. That’s the price any author pays when they’re paired with a Caldecott medalist, I guess. Now I’ve heard a tale or two about the creation of this book, and whether or not this story is true is probably up for question. The way I hear it, Kajikawa submitting this story years ago to Penguin. And Young considered it for quite some time, but couldn’t quite figure out how to illustrate it. Then a real tsunami, a big tsunami, hit another part of the world and the floodgates (so to speak) opened. He had his style. But it’s Kajikawa’s words that make this as accessible a story as it is. In fact, I found it a real pity that the design of the book had relegated her words to a black bar at the bottom of the page. This tale is precise and to the point. It plays up the natural tension, from Ojisan’s foreshadowing “Something does not feel right” to his frantic attempts to lure the villagers away from their own imminent demise. And the fact that it has something to say about sacrifice and wealth? Doesn’t hurt matters any. Still deciding whether or not to read or purchase it? Take a look at the only wordless two-page spread in the book. After all the villagers have hurried up the mountain to put out the flaming fields they ask Ojisan why they are there. In answer he merely turns to the sea and says, “Kita!” The next two-page spread is absolutely terrifying. A wave, pure black until its crest, towers above the land. The purple sky above is almost entirely hidden in the midst of the oncoming spray and sea. It is the end of the world as we know it. Nature at its darkest. And depending on your child it will inspire both their dreams and their nightmares. You need to figure out exactly how much of either you feel comfortable informing. Of course, it’s certainly not the most kid-friendly (heck, user-friendly) of Young’s titles. Too artistic? Maybe a little. But it also happens to be a great story and a visual entrancer. If it’s man versus nature you seek, look no further than Tsunami! Like nothing else out there I can name. Ages 4-8.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    This is my read aloud for this week -- for all grade levels, K-5. In light of what has happened in Japan, I want our students to get a sense of understanding of what is happening in the world around them. I choked up several times while reading this book this morning.

  3. 4 out of 5

    538AM_Steph

    "Tsunami!" takes the reader to a rural town in early 20th century Japan during a traditional rice harvest celebration. During the festivities, the town elder senses the severity of one of the earthquakes that causes no alarm to the the villagers who are too preoccupied with the festivities to notice the magnitude of this particular tremor in a land frequently shaken with earthquakes. The elder ignites his rice field, which is the source of his entire year’s income, that triggers the villagers to "Tsunami!" takes the reader to a rural town in early 20th century Japan during a traditional rice harvest celebration. During the festivities, the town elder senses the severity of one of the earthquakes that causes no alarm to the the villagers who are too preoccupied with the festivities to notice the magnitude of this particular tremor in a land frequently shaken with earthquakes. The elder ignites his rice field, which is the source of his entire year’s income, that triggers the villagers to race up the mountain to help the village elder extinguish the fire, where together they watch in horror as their town is washed away by the sea. "Tsunami!" was published two years before the devastating March 2011 tsunami that struck northern Japan, but illustrates the community-oriented society of the Japanese that was witnessed by the world after the 2011 natural disaster. This book could tie to the curriculum as a lesson on the science behind an earthquake and tsunami, to the social studies side of the story where a class can discuss the effects natural disasters have on communities, or to the history of the March 2011 tsunami. In addition to the links to curriculum, this book provides a window into the Japanese culture of rice farmers, who surprisingly constitute much of Japan to this day. The illustrations further the cultural experience for the reader as Young utilizes traditional Japanese handmade paper to illustrate what the fields and villages look like in rural Japan and what cultural festivities are performed during harvest. In addition to painting a picture of life in Japan, Kajikawa inserts a few Japanese words throughout the story, forcing the reader who does not understand Japanese to rely on contextual clues to understand what these words mean. Because translating the depth of what some of these words convey in their native language is difficult, I thought this choice to include the actual Japanese word was very appropriate and could lead to discussion with the class about how words sometimes carry more meaning than a translation can provide. Even though "Tsunami!" has many positive attributes, perhaps my favorite part of the book is the theme that taking care of your neighbors is more important than any wealth you may have. Overall, I would recommend this book to its intended audience of kindergarten, first, and second graders as well as older elementary students who could do extended projects from it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    CH13_Lisa Matthews

    Tsunami is adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s story “A Living God” is a story about a rice farmer name Ojiisan which mean “grandfather” who lived in a Japanese village by the sea. Ojiisan is the wealthiest person in the village and lived on a high mountain that overlooked the village and the sea. One day during the rice harvest ceremony approached a tsunami that only Ojiisan saw from his mountain top cottage. Oijjsan made the ultimate sacrifice to save all the villagers who were celebrating the rice Tsunami is adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s story “A Living God” is a story about a rice farmer name Ojiisan which mean “grandfather” who lived in a Japanese village by the sea. Ojiisan is the wealthiest person in the village and lived on a high mountain that overlooked the village and the sea. One day during the rice harvest ceremony approached a tsunami that only Ojiisan saw from his mountain top cottage. Oijjsan made the ultimate sacrifice to save all the villagers who were celebrating the rice harvest down by the sea by sacrificing his only means of support and finance. Tsunami is a wonderful story that teachers can read to their classroom and have discussion on the power of what one person sacrifice can do to change the lives of so many others in the community. The illustration in the story are done with collage and present to its reader a stunning and vivid image of the effect a natural disaster such as a Tsunami have on our planet. I would recommend this book to children ages 3 up / Grade K up. For younger children this book is a great read aloud and many opportunities for open ended questions and answers about tsunami. For older students they can research and then describe how a tsunami occurs and where tsunamis take place. The students can then create a time line of major tsunamis in history and discuss how they could prepare for a tsunami. Tsunami is a good book to use as a teaching tool the next time there is a tsunami that causes destruction somewhere in the world. Tsunami won the Parent’s Choice Silver Honor 2009.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Ojiisan is the wealthiest person in his small village. His wisdom has people walking the crooked track up the mountain to ask for his advice. Ojiisan decides not to go to the rice harvest celebration in the village because something does not feel right to him. So he watches the celebration from high above on the mountain. When the first earthquake comes it doesn't stop the celebration below. Then Ojiisan sees the sea moving away from the shore, he realizes what is happening - tsunami! But how ca Ojiisan is the wealthiest person in his small village. His wisdom has people walking the crooked track up the mountain to ask for his advice. Ojiisan decides not to go to the rice harvest celebration in the village because something does not feel right to him. So he watches the celebration from high above on the mountain. When the first earthquake comes it doesn't stop the celebration below. Then Ojiisan sees the sea moving away from the shore, he realizes what is happening - tsunami! But how can he warn the villagers celebrating below him? This simple, strong story about one man's sacrifice to save others in danger is breathtaking. Young's paper illustrations are gripping and fully capture the incredible strength of the disaster and the wonder of survival. Kajikawa's text is short, simple and even more effective for those reasons. There is enough drama to carry the story forward without flowery language. Highly recommended and timely, this book will not sit still on the shelf. The cover alone will sell it and just wait until people take a peek inside! Wonderful storytelling combined with great illustrations. Appropriate for ages 4-8.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    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 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Tsunami! / Kimiko Kajikawa, Ed Young--Illustrator / 2009 Genre: non-fiction Format: picture book Plot Summary: A wealthy man in a Japanese village, who everyone calls Ojiisan, which means grandfather, sets fire to his rice fields to warn the innocent people of an approaching tsunami. Considerations: suspenseful overtones Review Citation: School Library Journal, vol 55, issue 1, p76 "Young uses a panoply of papers to create collages that tell the story of a sacrifice that saved hundreds of lives. Patte Tsunami! / Kimiko Kajikawa, Ed Young--Illustrator / 2009 Genre: non-fiction Format: picture book Plot Summary: A wealthy man in a Japanese village, who everyone calls Ojiisan, which means grandfather, sets fire to his rice fields to warn the innocent people of an approaching tsunami. Considerations: suspenseful overtones Review Citation: School Library Journal, vol 55, issue 1, p76 "Young uses a panoply of papers to create collages that tell the story of a sacrifice that saved hundreds of lives. Patterned and marbled papers, fibrous grass cloth, translucent rice paper and tissue, photographic magazine papers, and even corrugated cardboard are keenly cut, roughly torn, layered, wrinkled, mounted, and manipulated to produce images that range from dead calm to the sea-spittled tumult of a roiling vortex that promises to consume everything in its path. The art reflects the frenzy of the events and is a departure from the more serene, controlled, and balanced work we know of Young." Selection Source: ALA Notable Children's Books 2010 Recommended age: 5-8

  8. 4 out of 5

    paula

    WOW.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Great story about a sensitive rice farmer who knew what was most important and how to take care of people - based on a true story

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    A gorgeous, darkly illustrated book about sacrifice, and possibly something more about respecting nature and valuing life over livelihood. Layers in meaning and layers in the collage art.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan Smith

    Excellent artwork and grandpa perspective of a disaster.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    Tsunami is a beautiful story, scary but human and satisfying.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Cunningham

    This book is about a man named Oijisan. He is the wealthiest man in the village he lives in. One night when he was watching the rice ceremony alone on his balcony, he had a feeling something bad was going to happen. He finally saw a huge wave coming into land from the beach and he knew it was a tsunami. None of the villagers knew it was coming so he had to help. This book has a great lesson on no matter your wealth it is always important to do things to help those around you. I liked this book be This book is about a man named Oijisan. He is the wealthiest man in the village he lives in. One night when he was watching the rice ceremony alone on his balcony, he had a feeling something bad was going to happen. He finally saw a huge wave coming into land from the beach and he knew it was a tsunami. None of the villagers knew it was coming so he had to help. This book has a great lesson on no matter your wealth it is always important to do things to help those around you. I liked this book because it had a really good lesson behind it. I would use this in a classroom to show students how important it is to put others before yourself and to always help others.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Ruigrok

    This picture book, done in collage style, is a beautiful story about the wise Japanese man who has a bad feeling so does not venture down to the village celebrations. Then he sees the sea pulling away from the land. This tells the story of how he saves the villagers from the tsunami. A beautiful book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Savannah Webster

    A dramatic story about a wealthy rice farmer called Ojiisan "grandfather" who burns his own fields in order to warn the oblivious townspeople about a "monster wave" about to hit their village. The paper collage style in the illustrations by Ed Young are absolutely beautiful. Great story to read when discussing natural disasters, Japanese culture, and going above and beyond in caring for others.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    A retelling of an old Japanese story of a village elder who saves the lives of the villagers as a tsunami approaches. A terrific book on many levels, including Ed Young's the gorgeous collage illustrations.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim Nelson

    The ripped paper collage artwork in this book is stunning. It tells of a tsunami that arrives at a small village. The description of the tsunami arriving, which is slow, allows the characters to develop.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Francisco Canchola

    I think that this book talks about what is happening in the world. It can be a really exciting book for students and them wanting to read something that is very exciting. It talks about the effects about a tsunami and how the natural disaster affects them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin Buhr

    Powerful story about a man who saves a village from a Tsunami. Beautifully illustrated with torn paper art and simply, but elegantly told.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pat Mills

    The red arch makes a brilliant visual marker between order and chaos. An historical event.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Helgeson

    One of my favorites!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Krieger

    Kajikawa, K., & Young, E. (2009). Tsunami! New York, NY: Philomel Books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    Some of the illustrations were a little abstract for my taste, but the page of the tsunami was breathtaking.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Kerr

    Kajikawa, Kimiko. Tsunami (2009). This story is adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s story “A Living God” (Gleanings in Buddha Fields, 1897). It is a story of a hero named Ojiisan, which means “grandfather”, who is the oldest and wealthiest man in living in a Japanese village on the sea. He lives on the top of the mountain, and many villagers climb this mountain to seek his advice. One day there is a rice harvest celebration in the village, but Ojiisan doesn’t go because “something does not feel right. Kajikawa, Kimiko. Tsunami (2009). This story is adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s story “A Living God” (Gleanings in Buddha Fields, 1897). It is a story of a hero named Ojiisan, which means “grandfather”, who is the oldest and wealthiest man in living in a Japanese village on the sea. He lives on the top of the mountain, and many villagers climb this mountain to seek his advice. One day there is a rice harvest celebration in the village, but Ojiisan doesn’t go because “something does not feel right.” They experience a small earthquake, and then Ojiisan sees the sea moving away from the land and knows he must do something to save the villagers. This is a simple but strong story that is beautifully illustrated by Ed Young. He uses mixed art to sometimes boldly illustrate the scene, and at other times more subtly to encourage the reader to be more thoughtful and look for the message conveyed. I would recommend this book to teach students how important a sacrifice can be to help others. Target audience: ages 5-9. (I used this story that carries the same motif as my other hero book, China’s Bravest Girl. In both stories the hero has to trick people to save them.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Long ago in rural Japan, a grandfather was tending his rice fields high on a mountaintop overlooking his seaside village. That day, his family went down to the village to celebrate the rice harvest, but Ojiisan, the grandfather, told his family that something did not feel right. So he and his grandson Tada stayed behind on the mountain. Later that day, an earthquake struck, “a long, slow, spongy motion.” But earthquakes are common in Japan, and this earthquake was not strong enough to alarm anyo Long ago in rural Japan, a grandfather was tending his rice fields high on a mountaintop overlooking his seaside village. That day, his family went down to the village to celebrate the rice harvest, but Ojiisan, the grandfather, told his family that something did not feel right. So he and his grandson Tada stayed behind on the mountain. Later that day, an earthquake struck, “a long, slow, spongy motion.” But earthquakes are common in Japan, and this earthquake was not strong enough to alarm anyone. Ojiisan, however, was unnerved by this earthquake - it felt different from the many others he had felt. He turned to look down toward the village -- the sea was running away from the land! Remembering his own grandfather’s warnings, Ojiisan whispered to himself, “Tsunami - the monster wave.” All of Ojiisan’s family, all of the villagers were in danger, but they were too far away to hear Ojiisan’s cries. What could he do? How could he signal to the village? Kajikawa shares this story with straightforward language that will engage a young audience. “Ojiisan turned his keen old eyes anxiously toward the sea. It had darkened suddenly and was moving against the wind.” She has adapted this story from Lafcadio Hearn’s story, “A Living God”, in which he tells of the 19th century Japanese hero Hamaguchi Gohei. Kajikawa uses many of the key phrases from Hearn’s original story (Ikegami, 2011). It is interesting to note that this story is based on a folktale collected by an Irishman, Lafcadio Hearn. And yet, Kajikawa acknowledges in her dedication that Hearn “had a special gift of getting to the kokoro (heart) of a people.” Hearn lived in Japan for many years, married a Japanese woman, became a Japanese citizen, and taught English literature at the Imperial University in Tokyo. Kajikawa’s pacing works perfectly for a picture book to be read aloud. While the drama is exciting, it is appropriate to share with young children. No one is injured in the tsunami and, while the village is destroyed, the focus is on Ojiisan’s bravery and quick thinking. Young’s textured multimedia collage illustrations draw in the reader from the very beginning, taking up the vast majority of the large pages. The text is limited to the bottom two inches of every page, letting the eye feast on the dramatic illustrations. Young balances realistic period details with abstract images in a way that makes it interesting for young readers without making the events too realistic or frightening. Children will be fascinated figuring what parts of the collage use photographs of real things like straw for the fields. Young’s dramatic use of color and diagonal lines add movement and heighten the tension in the scenes with the fire and the tsunami.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    Historical Fiction review: This book began a long time ago in Japan with a wealthy rice farmer named Ojiisan. He lived near the sea in a cottage that was on a mountain. Ojiisan's name meant grandfather. People often walked up the hill to ask him for advice. One day his family prepared to walk down the hill to the rice harvest, but Ojiisan didn't want to go. He said something didn't feel right so he and his grandson stayed home. They watched the festival from the top of the mountain. Ojiisan felt Historical Fiction review: This book began a long time ago in Japan with a wealthy rice farmer named Ojiisan. He lived near the sea in a cottage that was on a mountain. Ojiisan's name meant grandfather. People often walked up the hill to ask him for advice. One day his family prepared to walk down the hill to the rice harvest, but Ojiisan didn't want to go. He said something didn't feel right so he and his grandson stayed home. They watched the festival from the top of the mountain. Ojiisan felt rumbling under his feet and thought an earthquake was coming. An earthquake did come but it wasn't very strong. Ojiisan thought there was something strange about this earthquake. He looked toward the sea and saw that the sea was moving away from the land. He then remembered what his grandfather had told him about the monster wave called a Tsunami. He saw that the villagers didn't realize that they were in danger so he lit a torch and set all of his rice on fire. His grandson didn't understand why he was destroying the rice and he didn't have time to explain. He yelled to the people to run, but they couldn't hear him. Once they saw the rice burning they ran to put it out, but he told them not to because of the danger they were in. All of the villagers were safe on the top of the hill when the tsunami hit. It destroyed the entire village except for Ojiisan's house. Everyone was grateful that he saved their lives that they bowed before him. He opened his house to many of the people and they eventually built a temple in honor of him. This is a picture book and is for children aged eight to twelve. An intermediate reader. The artistic elements were great. The artist used a border on each page to separate the words from the illustrations. The colors were vivid. The people looked like paper doll figures. I would recommend this book because it shows how a tsunami happens. Since we have heard about tsunamis in the news over the last few years I think it is good for children to know exactly what they are. I gave this book a 4 star rating.  

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    My niece informed me that she wants to give this book five stars, so five stars it is! She was quite taken with Tsunami, which is a based on a true story about a man named Hamaguchi Goryou who, in 1854, saved many in his village from a tsunami that followed an earthquake. As the danger of the tsunami grew in this book, my niece tumbled further into the story, and by the time the tsunami struck the village, she was literally sitting on the edge of her seat, just about as close to the book as she c My niece informed me that she wants to give this book five stars, so five stars it is! She was quite taken with Tsunami, which is a based on a true story about a man named Hamaguchi Goryou who, in 1854, saved many in his village from a tsunami that followed an earthquake. As the danger of the tsunami grew in this book, my niece tumbled further into the story, and by the time the tsunami struck the village, she was literally sitting on the edge of her seat, just about as close to the book as she could get. The composition of this story is extremely well done, and the author Kimiko Kajikawa does a fantastic job of crafting her words to portray the frantic efforts of Ojiisan to save his fellow villagers from serious danger. While the words allow for a powerful verbal build-up of the story, the pictures in this book provide an extremely impactful visual sense of the danger faced by the villagers in Ojiisan's village. Various materials are used in the creation of the pictures, from papers, to fibers, to natural plant materials. The colors are sometimes arrestingly vivid, and other times ominously dark. The colors and images are used to masterfully evoke the various moods and emotions that the words are setting forth. The wordless double page showing a huge, dark tsunami angrily rolling toward a tiny village is stunning, and the illustrator Ed Young's ability to show the movement and destruction of the wave as it hits the shore is beautiful and remarkable. My niece found the story and the pictures to be so inspiring that she pulled out a pencil and paper and began trying to draw some of the images she was seeing on these pages. This is just a wonderfully done, beautiful book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mylinh

    I LOVE Ed Young's illustrations in this book. It's amazing how bits of paper and collage can create such a sense of atmosphere and movement. Tsunami would be a great book to introduce children to the natural disasters. It would also a great teaching tool for how simple acts can make someone a hero. Non-Fiction From School Library Journal Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3—Wealthy Ojiisan suffers a feeling of foreboding as he watches colorful rice festival celebrations from his cottage high above I LOVE Ed Young's illustrations in this book. It's amazing how bits of paper and collage can create such a sense of atmosphere and movement. Tsunami would be a great book to introduce children to the natural disasters. It would also a great teaching tool for how simple acts can make someone a hero. Non-Fiction From School Library Journal Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3—Wealthy Ojiisan suffers a feeling of foreboding as he watches colorful rice festival celebrations from his cottage high above his village by the sea. In his mountaintop home, he feels a spongy earthquake and observes bizarre movements in the sea: tsunami! How can Ojiisan alert the townspeople? Young uses a panoply of papers to create collages that tell the story of a sacrifice that saved hundreds of lives. Patterned and marbled papers, fibrous grass cloth, translucent rice paper and tissue, photographic magazine papers, and even corrugated cardboard are keenly cut, roughly torn, layered, wrinkled, mounted, and manipulated to produce images that range from dead calm to the sea-spittled tumult of a roiling vortex that promises to consume everything in its path. The art reflects the frenzy of the events and is a departure from the more serene, controlled, and balanced work we know of Young. Kajikawa has based the character of Ojiisan on Japanese hero Hamaguchi Gohei, who in 1854 set his own rice-stack harvest ablaze, diverting the attention of revelers and drawing them away from impending disaster. A simple story of the power of a simple act.—Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Reilly-Sanders

    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. 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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lindy

    I've always liked Ed Young's artwork and so I looked forward to seeing this new book that he illustrated. It was a surprise to me that, this time, I think the story is stronger than the art. (It is adapted from a story by Lafcadio Hearn.) The cover illustration is the best; tiny bits of flotsam give a sense of the enormity of the wave swamping a Japanese village. The orange colour of the title pops against the grey background and echoes the shape of the wave. Barring a few exceptions, I found the I've always liked Ed Young's artwork and so I looked forward to seeing this new book that he illustrated. It was a surprise to me that, this time, I think the story is stronger than the art. (It is adapted from a story by Lafcadio Hearn.) The cover illustration is the best; tiny bits of flotsam give a sense of the enormity of the wave swamping a Japanese village. The orange colour of the title pops against the grey background and echoes the shape of the wave. Barring a few exceptions, I found the rest of the mixed media collage images too busy or too difficult to interpret the action or both. The two spreads that show Ojiisan and his grandson seen against the sky from a viewpoint slightly below the top of the mountain are very nice, however. The story, as I've already said, is great. A man sacrifices his wealth in order to save hundreds of people. Kajikawa's writing is spare, yet evocative. "And presently an earthquake came -- a long, slow, spongy motion. The house rocked gently several times. Then all was still." I've never experienced an earthquake, but I was perfectly able to imagine it. The awesome, destructive power of nature is there too, when the tsunami hits. Might be scary for young children, especially if they live by the ocean.

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