Sato the Rabbit

Yuki Ainoya, trans. from the Japanese by Michael Blaskowsky. Enchanted Lion, $16.95 (68p) ISBN 978-1-59270-318-0
“One day,” creator Ainoya begins, “Haneru Sato became a rabbit. He’s been a rabbit ever since.” He looks very much like a child in a rabbit costume, and he walks upright through a natural world reminiscent of the Chirri & Chirra series—one that offers enchanting and sometimes droll revelations. He waters his garden, and a spread traces the water along a twisting, turning course through the forest back to its source, a pond that, in Blaskowsky’s natural-sounding translation, “is blowing water into the hose as hard as it can.” Next, Sato washes laundry in a green field, hanging up white shapes “piece by piece” against the blue sky. As clouds scud through, the laundry soon begins to resemble them, and, holding the ends of a sheet, Sato “becomes a ship and sets sail through rippling waves of grass.” In subsequent sections, Sato captures shooting stars, takes a voyage in a watermelon he’s eating, finds tiny worlds inside walnuts, and drinks cold tea with ice “made from/ water containing all the events/ of spring, summer, and fall.” Each episode is over in a few pages, and every one offers kaleidoscopic, pleasingly sensorial images made for dreaming on. Ages 6–9. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/17/2020
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Children's
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