cover image Sashiko


Barbara Ciletti, illus. by Maria Cristina Pritelli. Creative, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56846-370-4

With meditative prose and soft-edged imagery, the creators weave a mythlike history of sashiko, a traditional Japanese style of embroidery that dates to the 17th century. A kimono-clad child recounts the tale. Father, a fisherman on Awaji Island, works year round: when “cherry blossoms bloom” and when “hillsides are blue with icy mist.” After snow and cold result in empty nets, the narrator’s mother stitches three jackets together, whispering her hope that the thread will “run like the fish of summer,” Ciletti writes. Covered in short stitches and becoming a model for other garments, the warm jacket marks the start of sashiko. Pritelli’s traditional-leaning visuals glow with luminous tones even while being vague about time period. An author’s note describes the history of sashiko, but omits details about the creators’ research. Ages 8–11. (Aug.)