Issun Boshi: The One-Inch Boy
This classic Japanese fairy tale tells the story of Issun Boshi, the tiny son of an old, long childless couple. Tiny and brave--these are the two most striking characteristics of Issun Boshi. His mother had longed to have a child for so many years that she finally added "even if it is a very small one" to her wish. When the elderly couple did in fact bear a son, he turned out to be only one inch high. He was thus called Issun Boshi, Japanese for one-inch boy. Although his parents raised him very lovingly, Issun Boshi realized one day that he would not grow any taller. He then left his home to set off on a journey to find his place in the world. Because he saw himself as a swordfighter, a samurai, he made sure to take along the right equipment: a needle was his sword, a soup bowl was his boat, and a chopstick was its rudder. As in any proper fairy tale, Issun Boshi is tested in several adventures. He handles himself so bravely that, in the end, he is rewarded with just the right princess.
"Breathtaking silkscreenlike spreads created by the design collaborative Icinori (designers Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller) are the book's big draw; the artists use vermilion, warm yellow, and blue for bold, stylized images that pay homage to visual images of postwar Japan." --Publishers Weekly
"You rarely find such a meticulous combination of stunning art and melodic text as located here. Adapted from a Japanese folktale, Issun Boshi by Icinori is a stunner. Regardless of whether or not you collect fairy and folktales, you need this on your shelf. Stat. Issun Boshi, I am happy to say, never disappoints. It skips, it hops, it dives, it sings. It entertains fully and leaves the reader wanting more. It does not, therefore, ever come across as anything but one of the finest folktale adaptations you've ever seen. High praise. Great book. Must buy." - School Library Journal
"...the lively text reads aloud well. There are few picture-book versions of this traditional tale, and children will enjoy the plucky hero and the vivid, eclectic illustrations." -Booklist
"The arrestingly unusual illustrations will draw creative audiences, and the smooth retelling of a tale rarely heard by American kids will enliven readaloud sessions and provide a counterpoint to tiny European folktale heroes." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 2015