|Big bath house|
Author: MacLear, Kyo
Soon after a young girl arrives in Japan, she, her grandmother, her aunties, and some cousins celebrate cultural traditions together while visiting a bath house.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/15/21)
School Library Journal (09/17/21)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/10/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/17/2021 Gr 3–5—A young Japanese girl visits her baachan, or grandmother, and enjoys the shared experience of the big bath house, the community bathing spot. The narrator remarks on the feeling of seeing women comfortable in their bodies and empowered in this moment. An end note conveys the autobiographical nature of the story and how it shaped the author's view of women's bodies and celebratory way of being. This story exudes freedom and joy, which children will appreciate. The illustrations are colorful in their depictions of Japanese clothing, settings, and culture, and will invite children into discussions. The nudity is developmentally appropriate for mid-elementary students, though the book may be more suitable for family or one-on-one sharing than classroom use. VERDICT This is a warm celebration of a particular aspect of culture that may still be unfamiliar to some children, and which skillfully incorporates Japanese words and phrases.—Tracey Hodges, Univ. of Alabama, Northport, AL - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2021 Maclear draws from loving memories of her summers as a little girl at her grandmother’s house in Japan: each year, along with her aunties, they would go to the neighborhood bath house and enjoy long soaks. Even though they did not all share a common language, the women would find community and bond, especially at the bath house. Bodies of all shapes, sizes, and ages are depicted and celebrated, and the Japanese cultural tradition of bath houses is shared lovingly and joyously. The gorgeous illustrations feature delicately colored earth tones inside beautiful, loosely drawn, dark outlines. As captured by the closed eyes and gleeful expressions of the bathers, along with their “chorus of one long breath: Ahhhhh,” the relaxation and delight experienced by all in partaking in the bath house is evident. Lyrical language featuring occasional rhymes in a second-person narration guide young readers along themes of family and body positivity. A brief glossary and author’s note further promote cultural understanding in this stunning and welcoming addition. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.