Sato the Rabbit returns after his eponymous debut (2021) in a set of adventures all about nature.
In this Japanese import, Haneru Sato, the pale-skinned child who dresses as a white rabbit, explores the out-of-doors, manipulating elements in nature in a series of seven delightful and slightly surreal stories. In one, Sato discovers what looks like a small sprout and turns it slowly, as if it were a “green screw.” As he does so, the arid field he stands in fills with green (“pop,” we read, as buds form on trees all around him). In another story, Sato throws a rain party, tying sheets of rain with ribbon and making “rain music” with friends; the shimmering rain sheets, bundled like curtains, make for a magical, indelible image. And in another story, Sato grabs the moon’s reflection from a lake and hangs it out to dry before putting it on his bed and cuddling up beneath it. Each of these stories captures the imaginative wonder of a child’s perspective and embraces a genuine but never cloying whimsy. Compositions vary, with some spreads featuring vignettes and other illustrations taking up every inch of the spread, such as the glorious “shower of green” Sato creates with the turn of the green screw. The artwork pops with color and texture and depicts beautiful, dreamlike vistas. Sato endears himself to readers; he is inquisitive, clever, and generous. (It’s thanks to him that his friends get to visit the “rain-column ballroom.”)
A welcome return.(Picture book. 4-10)