I Really Want To See You, Grandma
I Really Want to See You, Grandma explores the powerful bond between grandparent and grandchild. Yumi wakes up one morning and really wants to see her grandmother, who has the same idea on a mountain the other side of town. They both set off at the same time and end up at each other’s houses. There is confusion and frustration as they criss-cross the town before eventually being joyfully reunited.
Taro Gomi is one of Japan’s most prolific authors and illustrators. This book is reminiscent of older tales when children undertook quests travelling alone. The illustrations work hand in hand with limited text to tell the story and allow young children to add to the narrative by reading the images on the page. Gomi uses a muted palette of browns, mustards and yellows with the odd splash of pink and blue to create a series of images that will delight young readers. The use of double-page spreads in a landscape format creates a sense of urgency and adds to the feeling of travel and distance as Yumi and Grandma frantically try to reach each other. The uncluttered pages allow children to pick out individual details and read the expressions on the faces, ranging from perplexed to grimly determined and finally to sheer exuberance. In fact, I have seen this book come to life in the hands of a four-year-old who happily demanded it to be read again and again!