One Leaf Rides the Wind

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One Leaf Rides the Wind

6.99

One Leaf Rides the Wind

Celeste Davidson Mannis (Author)
Susan Kathleen Hartung (Illustrator)

Paperback
Publication Date: 03/17/2005
Themes: Japanese culture, Poetry, Haiku, Nature, Gardens
Age: 5-8 years old
Pages: 32 pages

 

Filled with lush illustrations, this counting book reveals both the pleasure and the tranquility of the Japanese garden, while introducing haiku poetry, with eleven poems that are simple and easy to follow. Follow along as the young girl explores the beauty of the garden, and discover the fun of haiku.

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From Publishers Weekly

A Japanese girl in a rust-colored kimono tours a temple garden and counts its fixtures one to 10, accompanied by newcomer Mannis's haiku poetry. The book's elegantly spare design fits its Zen-influenced theme: a watercolor on the left, framed in a white border, faces a haiku on the right. The girl reaches for a drifting maple leaf in the first spread ("One leaf rides the wind./ Quick as I am, it's quicker!/ Just beyond my grasp") and Hartung (Dear Juno) places her squarely at the garden's entrance. As she admires bonsai ("a miniature forest"), views a pagoda (with its "five roofs [that] stretch to heaven") and drinks tea in a teahouse, the artist fills in details that trace her pathway before the girl lies down beside a lotus-covered pond: "What do flowers dream?/ Adrift on eight pond pillows,/ pink-cheeked blossoms rest." Notes in smaller type below offer more information (lotus blossoms "represent purity and mirror the soul's ability to reach beyond muddy waters to the sunlight of a better existence"). Little birds and a saucy cat accompany the girl through gently tinted, sweetly stylized paintings. The last spread shows the entire garden, revealing the girl's progression through it. Mannis's haiku act as both a guide to some of the elements of traditional Japanese culture and a useful introduction to the haiku form. Hartung's watercolors combine areas of finer draftsmanship with simple washes; in the artist's hands, the landscape becomes a series of meditative images.

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