*Yotsuba&! Book 10 — Best of 2011

In an attempt to mimic and learn from the young Yotsuba’s acceptance of the world as a place of wonder to discover, I shall not complain about how long it’s been since the previous volume. (Book 9 was out last year about this time.) Instead, I shall enjoy the stories inside, glad that we have it at all. I’ve talked many times about how funny I find Yotsuba and her unique view of everyday life, and escaping into her way of thinking is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

In the first chapter, we simply watch the little girl at play, whether it’s hide-and-seek, playing house, or swinging. Her imagination is always on display, and seeing it is a welcome reminder of how creativity is often connected with play. As always, Azuma does a terrific job capturing just the right moment to show us an energetic Yotsuba, putting us in the action. It takes a special mind to recall how a kid thinks and the jumps in logic they make, and more skill to give it to us in such entertaining ways.

Additional chapters show Yotsuba as she makes pancakes, with a charming determined face as she tells her daddy to let her do it; reminisces with Jumbo, showing him photos of previous adventures and desperately fighting off sleep in order to keep visiting; helps Daddy buy a digital camera (and has a wonderful time trying out all kinds of electronics); gets scared into taking responsibility for breaking a cup, in a chapter that will inspire debate about parenting practices; and welcomes the return of Danbo, the cardboard robot.

I found all of them inspiring, in different ways, recharging my soul.

10 Comments

  1. The release sechdule is agonizeinglly slow but I just look at that as something to look forward to honestly it’s the waiting and anticipation that makes each volume so enjoyable to me.

  2. That is a wonderfully optimistic way to look at things. I admire it.

  3. I hate to say this, but this was the volume where the Yotsuba&! formula has started to feel stale to me. I don’t know if it’s seeing the same types of stories again, the dry translation, or my having gotten into another comedic slice-of-life series (Chi’s Sweet Home, which I can better relate to).

    I’ll probably still continue with Yotsuba&!, but I’m at the same point with it that I was with Tokyopop’s last couple volumes of Sgt. Frog awhile back…

  4. Hmmm, I didn’t feel that way, but I find Chi pretty repetitive, so I guess that’s what makes horse races. (I’m not a pet owner, which might be a factor.) I just loved the pancake chapter, and so long as we get sections like those in the books, I’ll keep buying.

  5. Ed Sizemore

    Unfortunately, it looks like we will be practicing a lot of patience with Yotsuba. According to Amazon JP, volume 11 just came out in Japan on 11/26. It is worth the wait.

  6. [...] Yotsuba&! (Yen Press, Book 10 out this year) — Always charming, even if there was only one volume this year of the wide-eyed discoveries of a little girl. Kiyohiko Azuma has surrounded his character with amusing family and neighbors; like them, I’m inspired by Yotsuba’s imagination. [...]

  7. [...] Yotsuba Volume 10 by Kiyohiko Azuma. This series is pure joy. Yotsuba is the cure for any bad mood. Unfortunately, we [...]

  8. [...] I admit, I miss the stories of a kid during cute toddler things and her clueless dad/nephew. (Rin is technically Daikichi’s uncle, although he’s over 20 years older than she is.) These stories aren’t quite so special, since there are plenty of manga about quiet, well-mannered teen girls and the nice neighbor boys who get crushes on them. For kids learning about life, the only other series I know is Yotsuba&! [...]

  9. [...] reminds me of two old favorites, Peaches, Queen of the Universe (although Alice is nicer) and Yotsuba&! (although Alice is smarter). It’s nostalgic, in a way — once upon a time, we all had [...]

  10. [...] you’re not reading this charming series about a curious little girl discovering the world around her, I’m not sure what I could say [...]

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