Renowned children's book creator Taro Gomi has created another masterpiece. In this beautiful testament to wondering, a young girl gazes out to where the water meets the sky and wonders what lies beyond the waves. Boats filled with toys? Skyscrapers filled with people? Houses filled with families? Or, maybe, over the ocean stands someone not so different from the girl herself, returning her gaze. In this celebration of imagination's power, young readers will find joy in the mystery of the faraway, the unknown, and the just-beyond.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
we love taro gomi. minimal text, but always so much to discuss in his illustrations. a soothing, imaginative visualization that makes "an ocean away" not so far after all.
I enjoy reading this book to my one- and two-year-old sons. The concept of a child contemplating the world around her is beautiful, and the illustrations go along nicely. However, I do not understand why the author mixed in a line about bullies (Are they are all friends? Maybe there are some bullies.) in an otherwise carefree book. This "dose of reality" is out of place and mixes oddly with the other images of fairs, farms, cities, etc. To continue with this line of thinking, the child should also be wondering if creeps loiter at fairs or droughts threaten the farms. Why introduce fear of bullies into the the book? I was stopped short the first time I read the line. Now, I just skip it.
Originally published in Japan in 1979, Gomi has created a timeless picture book that will speak to modern children beautifully. A child is standing on a beach looking over the ocean. The child wonders what is beyond the ocean. Is it more ocean? Perhaps many boats. The land beyond may be filled with farms, or huge cities, or small houses. Children may live in those houses, ones who could be friends or could be bullies. Are there icebergs? Is it night? Or perhaps there is another solitary child looking right back across the ocean.
So simple, this Japanese picture book offers an imaginative look at what is in our world from a child’s point of view. Gomi captures that childlike view perfectly, allowing jumps of attention and new thoughts to create a natural flow to the narrative. The ending is a gorgeous cap to the book, showing throughout that the people on either side of an ocean are more similar than they are different in a subtle way.
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