cover image Tsunami!


Kimiko Kajikawa, , illus. by Ed Young. . Philomel, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-25006-4

An earthquake, a fire, a tidal wave and selfless heroism, all packed into 32 pages, guarantee that this story will hold the attention of even the most restless listeners. Four hundred villagers are saved from death when Ojiisan, a wealthy old rice farmer on the mountainside, feels tremors, sees the ocean recede and realizes a tsunami is coming. Caldecott Medalist Young's (Lon Po Po ) collages—elaborate combinations of media ranging from cut and torn paper to photos of straw and bamboo—build steady tension as Ojiisan, disregarding his grandson's horror, sets his ripened rice fields alight in order to lure the villagers to higher ground. The double-page spread in which the monstrous, cresting black wave looms conveys real terror. Kajikawa's (Yoshi's Feast ) portrait of an old man who acts unhesitatingly against his own interests delivers a forceful message, and the moral does not get in the way of the action. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)