“One day, Haneru Sato became a rabbit. He’s been a rabbit ever since.” With these surrealist, yet matter-of-fact opening lines, we are transported to a world very much like our own, yet one that is imbued with an added dimension of wonder and curiosity. In Sato’s world, ordinary objects and everyday routines can lead to magical encounters: a rain puddle, reflecting the sky, becomes a window that can be opened and peered through. A walnut is cracked open to reveal a tiny home, complete with a bathtub and a comfy bed. During a meteor shower, Sato catches stars in a net, illuminating the path home for a family taking an evening walk. This whimsical tale is the first in a trilogy from Japan.
"Sato...walks upright through a natural world reminiscent of the Chirri & Chirra series—one that offers enchanting and sometimes droll revelations. He waters his garden, and a spread traces the water along a twisting, turning course through the forest back to its source, a pond that, in Blaskowsky’s natural-sounding translation, “is blowing water into the hose as hard as it can.” Each episode is over in a few pages, and every one offers kaleidoscopic, pleasingly sensorial images made for dreaming on." —STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
“Dreamlike and fanciful, each adventure is as much a flight of fancy as it is a plunge into gorgeous colors and shapes. Sato catches stars during a meteor shower, and the yellow glow guides a family of bears on a moonless night; he eats delicious watermelon which becomes a boat in the sea; while cracking open walnuts, he discovers miniature treasures inside each shell - loaves of bread, a warm bath - and when he covers his eyes with the shells, he finds himself beneath a sky full of stars. The ocean, clouds, the night sky, reflections - these are the cosmic places Sato explores in each beautifully wrought adventure. Simple, brief poetic text and illustrations in rounded shapes, in light and dark toned pastel colors, add to the feeling of wonder.” —Youth Services Book Review
"A child’s vivid imagination transforms everyday activities into magical interactions. Similarly charming artwork illustrates the interconnectedness among nature, children, and creativity in six other episodic expeditions featuring distinct themes...alongside Sato, readers travel through the seasons while sharing his myriad, surprising lenses on the universe. The journey culminates in a homecoming when Sato settles into bed, cozily “sipping stories late into the night.” The painterly illustrations suggest homage to Where the Wild Things Are, works by Eric Carle, and others.
Sweet, surreal, and contemplative." —Kirkus
“Our hero in this compact little picture book (translated by Michael Blaskowsky) is a boy who wears a rabbit costume and sees all sorts of wonderful possibilities in the world. While watering the garden, he imagines—as we see in a beguiling painting—that a distant pond is “blowing water into the hose as hard as it can.” Noticing the sunset reflected in a puddle, Sato the Rabbit lifts up its rosy surface, like a luminous manhole cover, and finds himself transported to the sky. In another story, Sato cracks walnuts and discovers tiny loaves of bread and a pot of hot coffee inside one set of shells, a miniature bed and steaming bath inside another. The soft lines and delectable colors of Ms. Ainoya’s pictures, and their charming details (the walnut bath has a loofah and a little towel rack), will have 4- to 8-year-olds wishing they could climb into Sato’s world. Their parents may wish it, too.” —The Wall Street Journal
"In a set of seven small vignettes that span the seasons, Sato’s daily activities — watering the garden, doing the laundry, splashing in puddles — turn into magic. Cracking open a walnut reveals an inviting miniature world. Eating a watermelon turns into a seafaring adventure. (“Nothing compares to eating watermelon on the sea.”) Observing a meteor shower leads to a star-collection mission. Paintings in a naive style burst with saturated color — watermelon red, night-sky blue, spring chartreuse. For fans of Doi’s Chirri & Chirra books, this import provides another cozy glimpse into mystery, independence, and imaginative play. " —STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book