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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Almost Nothing, Yet Everything: A Book about Water
by Hiroshi Osada
Age Range: 6-8
“It can slip through your fingers, like it’s nothing at all. But life would be unthinkable without it.” Structured as a poem about water, where one line is printed at the bottom of each page and luscious illustrations of water consume the entire pages, Almost Nothing, Yet Everything conveys the beauty and magnitude of water more so through visuals rather than words.
Written in Japanese by Hiroshi Osada and translated into English by David Boyd, Almost Nothing, Yet Everything pays tribute to water, which is a major part of Japan’s culture, as it surrounds the country in its entirety. Even though water makes up about 71 per cent of the earth, it is not in everybody’s conscious thoughts every day, so Osada poetically reminds readers just how magnificent water as a whole really is. The poem that travels through the pages muses about this wonderful entity, but what draws in readers are Ryōji Arai’s dazzling illustrations —illustrations that appear as high-resolution pictures that draw people to fixate on each meticulous brushstroke.
Catherine Hurwitz (Feb22)