Yotsuba&! Volume 15
It’s been three years since the previous volume, but one of the many charms of Yotsuba&! volume 15 is that it feels timeless.
Yotsuba’s wonder at the world, her interest in creating and exploring and learning new things, is soul-restoring. I want to feel like that, and for the amount of time I’m reading this, I do. There’s one chapter where she and friends take a trip to the shore to collect rocks, and it’s all about riding in the convertible and the fun of finding pretty objects. Nothing more, and nothing more is needed.
This volume is also timely, as the book opens with Yotsuba’s dad announcing it’s time to get out the kotatsu, the heated blanket table. They tidy to make room for it, and it’s so nicely domestic and everyday. Enjoyable stories don’t have to be overly dramatic.
One of the funniest chapters is when dad’s friend talks him into buying a blender and then teaches them to make banana juice (which is more like a banana milkshake). Yotsuba is also learning to paint and getting ready to go to school by getting a haircut and buying a backpack.
The detail in the art is amazing. Yotsuba herself is simplified, but her world is full of things and background and gorgeous seasonal moments. That’s what keeps me enjoying each volume more than the previous.