mini book club: 001
Mini book club? What is this?
It’s a place for me to share my favourite authors and books. I thought I would make this simple with 3 books in the same category/theme/language or such, rather than focus on one book or one author. But when I started writing out a list, each needed more space for its own post. So here I am writing & thinking more than I thought I would…
The very first author-illustrator is a prolific classic in Japan: Gomi Taro
He’s written over 450 books since 1973 and still going! His work is all over Japan, not just as books but with original goods and even food packaging (← dreams and goals!)
I first started reading Gomi Taro books before elementary school, when my mom would read to me in bed at night. Specifically this Game Book series.
It’s not a narrative story but fun puzzles on each spread. It looks like there were 5 books, but I only had the first 3.
Even though there’s not much to read, these were my favorite. And I would ask my mom to “read” these often, figuring out the same puzzles over and over together. I still love them and want to create my own activity based book series! Any editors out there also interested? Hello???
I always kept these books and when I started illustrating & figuring out “my style”, Gomi Taro’s work helped me realize it’s ok to draw simply. Plus, to lean in and accept that my style will be on the side of “cute.” (I prefer the word charming though 😉)
Here’s another book I kept but didn’t remember well. Now, I enjoy and appreciate the simple story much more. (There’s an English edition for anyone interested).
As I looked for more inspiration, I began reading and collecting some of his other popular classics too. This one is fun & clever. A little lion strips down for bath time, but it’s not actually a lion underneath all of those clothes and fur!
I love this one and wish English readers could appreciate it. But the text heavily relies on understanding Japanese.
But you can still find a lot of Gomi Taro’s work in the US! Chronicle Books publishes a lot of the English translations. Maybe you’ll recognize this one.
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