Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books


Fall 2009 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Kimoko Kajikawa
Illustrator: Ed Young
ISBN: 0399250069
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Old Ojiisan, the wealthiest, wisest villager doesn't go to the harvest rice ceremony held on the beach below his mountain home, because, "Something doesn't feel right." Although members of his family wend down the zigzag road to celebrate, his grandson remains with him.

As Ojiisan and Tada watch the festivities below, they feel a slow rolling earthquake that rocks the house. When Oiijan looks at the sea, he sees it rushing away from the beach with the curious villagers following. Remembering what his grandfather had told him when he was a child, Oiijan knows it is a tsunami-a monster wave.

Too far away to shout to the villagers, Ojiisan calls for his grandson to give him a torch, and he sets his ripened fields of rice ablaze. The villagers turn away from the sea and run up the road, to help save Ojiisan's crop. Ironically, it's the flaming fields that save the people.

The palette is dark. Ed Young's masterful multi-media illustrations, with collage predominating, are wonderfully dramatic.

Kemie Nix   ©2009 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Look for this product at:
Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers

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