Drawn & Quarterly. May 2020. 228p. pap. $24.95. ISBN 9781770463974.
Gr 7 Up–Four-year-old Noriko Iwasaki lives outside of Osaka, Japan. Her grandmother cares for her while her parents work, but Nori, a curious, headstrong preschooler, often runs off on adventures. In six chapters, we watch Nori navigate the world around her and experience life at home and at school, where she finds a best friend and coconspirator in a child just as bold and mischievous as she is. The story goes deeper as elders talk about their lives during World War II and readers learn about different Japanese traditions. Nori’s imaginary life is given the same weight as her real world, as she converses with a tadpole, walks with penguins, and joins rabbits to pound mochi on the moon. Each vignette is drawn largely in black and white with a single color adding dimension.
VERDICT This sweet peek into the world of a four-year-old will charm readers of all ages.

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