Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Reibstein, Mark. 2008. WABI SABI. Ill. by Ed Young. New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316118255 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]
The humble cat’s quest is an emotional journey of self-awareness in which he attempts and succeeds to find out what “Wabi Sabi” means and thus finds out what he truly represents. The art is breathtaking and invigorating. The cover and lay-out of this book are unique. The space given to the painstakingly chosen, brilliant text and descriptive poems is well balanced with the earthy colors of the detailed artwork.
The artistic collage and haiku that has Japanese historical references could be shared with very young children, but older elementary students will enjoy the animated adventure and the artwork too. There are several literary devices at work in this work such as figurative language, imagery, metaphors, dialogue and, certainly, rhythm.
A wonderful extension of this book would be to have children research and discover the history of their own names and then make up a name that best describes them.
Other multicultural books discussing the importance of names:
Swann, Brian. TOUCHING THE DISTANCE: NATIVE AMERICAN RIDDLE-POEMS. ISBN 9780152008048
Yang-Huan. HOMES. ISBN 9780976205630
By Kathlene A. Goldin