I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Tarō Gomi
I love Tarō Gomi, the prolific 72-year-old Japanese author/illustrator of picture books (over 400 in Japanese, if the internet is to be believed). I don't love every single book that he writes, but that's the case with every artist, isn't it? I do love, gleefully love, is newest book, I Really Want to See You, Grandma. This is Gomi at his best, simple, perfectly predictable (kids love this) and laugh-out-loud funny.
Yumi lives on a hill in a house with a pink roof and Grandma lives on a mountain in a house with an orange roof. Like a map to the story, the first two-page spread of I Really Want to See You, Grandma sets the stage. Yumi decides that she really wants to see her grandma, and with a beautiful, joyful freedom, she heads off to the bus stop. At the same time, Grandma has the same idea and hops on a train. The two meet with shared surprise when, reaching their destination, they learn of the mix-up. They cross paths and miss each other using a few more modes of transportation, until the final, ecstatic moment when they meet in the middle, hurtling toward each other, Yumi determinedly saying, "I want to see Grandma NOW!" and Grandma saying, "I want to see Yumi NOW!"
The climax is so wonderfully, happily silly and perfectly sensible, with Yumi suggesting, "The next time we want to see each other, let's just meet under this tree!"
May every child have a grandparent figure in her/his life and experience the joy of being together the way that Yumi and Grandma do!
Source: Review Copy