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Yotsuba&! - Book IV

by Kiyohiko Azuma


Yotsuba Koiwai, the little girl with the green hair from "way over there" is back with another series of adventures. She goes fishing, shops for ingredients for dinner at a local supermarket, plays games, makes her own newspaper, and learns about the cicada that brings the end of summer.

As with the earlier volumes (Yotsuba&! Volume I is also reviewed on this site) this book is divided into seven chapters which all show the protagonistís straightforward and delightful view of the world. We donít know where Yotsuba is from yet (her name means "four leaved"), but it is obviously nothing like modern Japan or anywhere else that we readers can recognize. This means every simple thing she encounters is a constant source of wonder and delight to her, and as she is lucky to possess the enviable gift of "enjoying everything," it all takes on a new meaning. Much of this can be likened to the joy a young child has in discovering the world around them, and therein lies the seriesí undoubted appeal. A lot of the humor and drama is visual, and words alone would not suffice, so it is just as well that this is manga or much would be lost. Instead, the pictures vibrate with the ebullience of Yotsuba herself; and whatever age you are, if you want to read something that seems to me to be quintessentially manga then this is it.

The Book

Yen Press (Distributed in the UK by Little, Brown)
5 November 2009
0316073911 / 9780316073912
Fantasy / Humor / Manga / Contemporary / Japan / Tweenage (9-12)
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009