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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)
Sato the Rabbit: A Sea of Tea
by Yuki Ainoya
Age Range: 6-8
“Sato the Rabbit softly stirs a cup of tea. He stirs slowly, while gazing at the evening sun. A leaf floats in the tea as it reflects the evening sky. While Sato gently stirs, the tea shimmers and the leaf sways. Sway and shimmer…shimmer and sway…Sato the Rabbit paddles through a sea of tea.”
Michael Blaskowsky’s English translation of Japanese author Yuki Ainoya’s words say it best: romanticizing your life in simple day-to-day activities, such as making a cup of tea, can turn anything magical. Each of Ainoya’s illustrations perfectly captures the essence of each episode of Sato’s journey. For example, when Sato paddles through a sea of tea, the pervading colour pallet for the corresponding spread is orange and yellow—the simplicity of sticking to shades of these two colours to make the backdrop against the contrasting colour scheme of Sato’s white rabbit suit and green leaf on which he stands is enthralling to any reader’s eye.
Even though the title of the third Sato the Rabbit book is called Sato the Rabbit: A Sea of Tea, there are many more adventures within just this one short story, other than just being in a sea of tea. All presented as episodic titles, readers get to bask in the pure wonder that is “wild raspberries,” “blue skies,” “summer spoon,” “tunnel,” “snow and stars,” and “blanket.”
A must-read for any age, this last book in the Sato the Rabbit trilogy caters to the wonderful sense of taste; consuming each word and illustration is just like savouring a cup of tea made to transcend one’s satisfaction.
Catherine Hurwitz (Apr22)