If you notice, in both today and yesterday’s A to Z Read Your World in Kid’s Books choices, I have suggested that the intended audience include adults. I believe that children’s books are not just for children. They are filled with fantastic characters, interesting settings, beautiful art, and timeless messages.
Today’s choice is especially fitting because April is Poetry Month and haiku poetry features prominently in Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese cat who overhears a guest asking where her name comes from. Her Master answers, “That’s hard to explain.”
Wabi Sabi had never given much thought to her name but, now curious she sets off on an adventure to discover the meaning of Wabi Sabi. She asks many animals including another cat, a dog, and a bird as she travels through the Japanese landscape. Each animal gives a partial explanation and then quietly adds, “That’s hard to explain.” Finally, Wabi Sabi reaches the woods and meets a wise monkey who shares tea in warm pottery bowls rather than in fine china. “Listen, watch, feel,” instructs the monkey. “Simple things are beautiful.”
Wabi Sabi reads from top to bottom like a scroll. Each two page spread includes a haiku along with the textured collage art created by Caldecott artist Ed Young. Like Wabi Sabi, this book is hard to explain. It is simple yet complex. Soothing but also intriguing. It is a masterful blend of words and art. Please read it then perhaps you will understand.