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Natsuno Ike Natsuno Ike
(A Pond in Summer)

Text by Shiono Yonematsu
Ill. by Yasunari Murakami
Tokyo: Hikarinokuni, 2002

32 pp: 283 x 220 mm
ISBN : 4-564-00674-6
Ages : 3-9
Joy of summer, Nature

The Japan Picture Book Award, the Grand Winner Award 2003

This picture book is about small creatures living in a pond and the curious children who try to catch them. On a bright summer day, a little boy and a little girl, both well tanned, come to a small pond that reflects the blue sky and a white cumulus cloud. Looking at the surface of the water, the children find a water strider. The boy tells the girl to be quiet, wrapping the pond in silence. However, under the water, creatures are busy going here and there. Killifish are swimming in a school, but they scatter in a panic once a bully crawfish comes around. This crawfish eventually sneaks away from a big catfish. Then, the boy’s net comes down into the water and scoops up a killifish. He gives it to the girl but she pities it and returns it to the pond. The illustrations and words are simple, but manage to grasp the atmosphere of a beautiful summer day.

Yonematsu Shiono was born in Akita Prefecture in 1947 and graduated from the Tokyo University of Science. He writes novels and travels around Japan to interview artisans and fishermen. His children’s titles include Tousan no Chiisakatta Toki (When Your Fathers were Small, 1988) and 1000000 bon no Buna no Ki (1,000,000 Beech Trees, 2005).

Yasunari Murakamiwas born in Gifu Prefecture in 1955 and has been creating highly original picture books. He won the Graphic Prizes at the Bologna Book Fair with Pinku to Suno Jiisan (Little Fish Pink and Old Charr Snow) in 1986, Purezento (Present) in 1988, and Yokoso Mori e (Welcome to the Forest) in 1989. He also won the Gold Plaque of 1991 Biennale of Illustrations Bratislava with Pinku! Paru! (Pink! Pearl!).
The illustrations of JBBY English home page are by Mitsumasa Annno
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