Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review - Patience, Miyuki

Patience, Miyuki (Miyuki)
by Roxane Marie Galliez
illustrated by Seng Soun Ratanavanh
Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Anyone with a small child knows that patience is not a virtue easily won. In this magically illustrated story the young girl Miyuki, who we first met in the critically acclaimed Time for Bed, Miyuki, anxiously awaits the opening of one sleepy flower. When, on the first day of spring, the flower still hasn't bloomed, Miyuki begins a frantic search for water to wake it up. Her grandfather gently encourages her to sit and watch with him, as she learns the important lesson that good things come to those who wait.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I haven't read the first book in the Miyuki series, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. It's a bit trippy, with illustrations that make me think of Alice in Wonderland.

Miyuki finds an unopened flower on the first day of spring and sets about finding the purest water for it so it will open. She spends all day running around trying to find this water, and by the end of the day, she still hasn't succeeded. The next morning, the flower still hasn't opened, and Miyuki is sad. But her grandfather tells her she needs to be patient, so they just sit together and watch and wait, enjoying the second day of spring as they wait for the flower to open.

Even though the illustrations are a bit weird and fanciful, I quite like them. The characters appear to be quite tiny, able to fit inside flowers, and other creatures (like toads and rabbits) are huge. The geometric patterns and soft colours make the whole aesthetic kind of stylized, but also magical. (I first encountered this illustrator's work in Stéphanie Demasse-Pottier's My Island. I really liked the pictures in that one, too, even if they didn't make a lot of sense. I think that weird, distorted vision of reality is what makes them special, though.)

I'm not sure if the message about being patient really comes through clearly, but the book is lovely to look at and it's nice to see a story about patience that isn't too preachy.

Thank you to NetGalley and Princeton Architectural Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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