*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.


  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. 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.

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  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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