32 pages / March, 2011 / 1,500 yen (w/o tax)
What Animals Taught Me About Life
This picture book is set in the hugely popular Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido.
In the story, Toko’s family went to visit the Asahiyama Zoo. There the chimpanzees, wolves, yezoshika deer, polar bears, and penguins were all raising their young.
However, when they got to where the fierce animals were, Ichi the tiger was nowhere to be seen. While they were looking for Ichi, they saw a sign that said “In Mourning.”
Had Ichi died? Toko began to cry. With the curator who happened to pass by at that moment, Toko followed the 4-billion-year-long journey of the “thread of life.”
With delightful, fantastical illustrations, this book expresses the important role played by the “vessels of life.”
This book is actually the first book proposal I came across when I started working. I sent a request to Mr. Kosuge, who was a zoo curator at the time. I remember well how happy I was when I received his consent to work with me. It has been two and a half years since then, and although it has taken a while, the project has resulted in a very satisfying book. Shin Horikawa’s adorable illustrations, done in beautiful colors, contribute greatly to the attractiveness of the book.
I hope that The Vessels of Life will become a favorite for many children.