The Little One by Kiyo Tanaka and translated by David Boyd shows the power of friendship.
A young girl is walking home after school when she sees a small creature sitting atop a garden wall. After spotting it a few more times on her journey she finally summons the courage to approach it and ask it what it’s doing. From here the two silently embark on a journey together into a secret world where they play games, dance, and explore the nature around them. After hours of fun (and a nap on top of a furry animal), the two return to the "real" world where the girl bumps into her father and they travel home together.
The black-and-white inked illustrations are absolutely striking, as Tanaka utilizes a wide breadth of inking techniques to produce a full range of texture and depth. The spreads depicting the secret world are on black paper, while the real world is on white paper, and this really gives Tanaka the opportunity to explore negative space (in the real world) and highlights (in the imaginative world).
The Little One publishes on December 7 from Enchanted Lion Books!
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December 2, 2021 at 11:30AM firstname.lastname@example.org (Mel Schuit)