Today and Today

by Kobayashi Issa and G. Brian Karas

It is life’s simple moments that are often overlooked in the fast-paced world:... read more

It is life’s simple moments that are often overlooked in the fast-paced world: sitting beneath new fruit blossoms in spring, untangling a kite caught in a tree in summer, building a snowman in the heart of winter, reflecting on the promise of the seasons. Illustrator G. Brian Karas emphasizes the deep meaning of simple moments with images he has created to accompany selected poems by the Japanese haiku master Issa. The haiku are arranged in the cycle of the seasons, while Karas’ artwork provides a lovely, cohesive visual narrative depicting one family’s living process over the course of the year. In the images is the story: the year is one marked by growth, celebration, and the eventual loss and mourning of a family elder. Karas incorporates traditional Japanese mixed-media elements into his art. The result is delicate images with a simplicity of style that underscores the idea of simplicity. An introductory note provides information on the haiku form. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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