Tokyo on Foot

Florent Chavouet. Tuttle, $22.95 (208p) ISBN 978-4-8053-1137-0

In Chavouet's debut effort, he presents a view of Tokyo unlike anything found in a travel guide or map book. The opportunity for his own view came during a six-month visit to Tokyo while tagging along with his girlfriend, who was interning at a company there. Each day, Chavouet, armed with "a lady's bicycle and a folding chair," set out to sketch real people engaged in nothing more than the business of their daily lives, however curious, interesting, or mundane. While he documents the people and places of Tokyo in his book, he also shares humorous anecdotes about his own experiences of living in the city. What sets the book apart from the typical guide is that Chavouet doesn't merely show Tokyo in his illustrations or provide a convenient map book for the prospective traveler. Instead, his window into the city allows him to showcase his profound talent as an artist. His drawings are so wonderfully idiosyncratic and so beautifully detailed that what must have been a labor of love for him is no less a labor of delightful artistic genius. (June)