Friday, December 19, 2014

A Quiet and Soothing Tale for the Holidaze

Kuma-Kuma Chan written and illustrated by Kazue Takahashi.  Museyon Press, 2014. $12.99.  Recommended for ages 2-5.

"I sometimes wonder what Kuma- Kuma Chan does during the day?

Japanese author and illustrator Kazue Takahashi poses a seemingly simple question in this  2001 Japanese book, newly translated into English. However, the deceptively simple answers and accompanying illustrations reveal an important, almost Zen-like quality that should resonate with all of us.

 Kuma Kuma Chan ("cute little bear") lives alone in the mountains, in a place difficult for visitors to reach. So how does he spend his day? Well, after waking up, he fixes himself a big salad with lettuce and tomatoes from his own garden. As he pours milk in his coffee, he draws small pictures.  He carefully sweeps the  house and does some shopping.  Then a nap is in order. Later, he gazes at the clouds and listens to the falling rain. In the spring,  he pulls weeds, and in the summer he needs to cut his fur to stay cool.  Fall is good for love songs and winter would is perfect for reading and following a patch of sunlight around the room.

Alone, but not lonely, Kuma-Kuma lives an unhurried, simple but purposeful life, free from all the clutter and distractions of our modern world. He enjoys his solitude and finds joy in his routines, taking time to live in the moment, and observe what's going on around him.

Visit Good Reads with Ronna to see my full review. Thanks to Ronna Mandel for allowing me to review this book and keep it for my library.