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Mr. Reaperby Tatsuya Miyanishi
Synopses & Reviews
A hungry wolf searches the forest for a long-awaited meal, when his senses find something. At first he is not certain if his mind is playing tricks on him, but before him is a young piglet resting in a clearing. His wish has come true! He can eat again!
But there is something about this piglet that does not settle well with the wolf. The piglet seems to not be resting, at all. Instead, she appears to be in great pain.
Feeling guilty for wishing to take advantage of a being in need, the wolf takes the piglet into his home. And then begins a long and brave process to prepare for the piglet's future, whether its health turns for the better or worse.
Watching over the two is the story's narrator...Mr Reaper. Finding Mr Reaper is part of the tale, as his eyes lead the cast through many trials and a very unusual ending.
"'he day they will die is something no person knows. The only one who knows, the one who decides the day is me, the Reaper.' Such is readers' introduction to Japanese author/illustrator Miyanishi's unsettling story about death, his first to be translated into English. Throughout, the Reaper supplies one chilling line after another: 'I, the Reaper, take any form I wish. Flower, grass or tree I can be, even cloud or sky.' This idea is underscored by the book jacket, all glossy black except for two die-cut eyes (one reveals a dying wolf) and the hint of a smile. The story focuses on an ailing pig and a wolf that wants to eat the pig once it's no longer sick. The wolf's efforts to heal the pig bring about its own demise — sort of. Throughout, the Reaper speaks of the inevitability of death ('In fact, you two will soon die'), but the ending topples this notion, suggesting a capriciousness on the Reaper's part that isn't likely to reassure children. Miyanishi's downright cheerful cartoons are an odd counterpoint, and the stilted translation doesn't help. Ages 3 — up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Born in 1956 Tatsuya Miyanishi is one of the most popular childrens book artists currently in Japan. A graduate of the Nihon Universtiy College of Art's Fine Arts department Miyanishi is an artist in almost a renaissance sense. While most of his works tend to be oversized children's books, often featuring 50cm tall trim sizes, Miyanishi has also been known to dabble in Paper Dramas, planetarium programming, essays and grade-school level text books. His kids books cover a wide range of genres from superheroes to dinosaurs and everything in between. Over his career he has penned more than 75 books and last year his title Aren't You Delish was adapted into an animated film by Ajia-Do.
Mr. Reaper is Miyanishi's first book in English, but many of his books have been translated into French, Chinese, and Korean. He has won the Kodansha Cultural Award in the Picture Book category, as well as the Kenbuchi City Picture Book Village Award.
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