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Wabi Sabi (2008)

by Mark Reibstein

Other authors: Ed Young (Illustrator)

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5347532,578 (4.27)5
Wabi Sabi, a cat living in the city of Kyoto, learns about the Japanese concept of beauty through simplicity as she asks various animals she meets about the meaning of her name.
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Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This book looks like a children's book. It is thin. It has few words per page. It is fun.

But then the last few pages are written for adults. It is really a philosophy book or a coffee table book. The philosophy is Wabi Sabi, a Japanese term with various translations. In this book it means appreciating the beauty in simplicity. Wikipedia define is at acceptance of transience and imperfection. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi I enjoy it because of the haiku in it. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
Wabi Sabi searches for what her name means and finds out that it means seeing beauty in everything, no matter how small or ordinary. I thought this book was really cool. Its illustrations are almost cut and paste style and the book is read vertically instead of horizontally. It also is informative about the Wabi Sabi way of life. ( )
  SophiaLCastillo | Apr 27, 2020 |
Top 100 pick because:

I adore this book. It has a special place for me. This paragraph from the School Library Journal review explains my thoughts nicely: "It is a complex idea, and the cat's journey is an effective way of presenting it to elementary school readers. The book reads from top to bottom, like a scroll, and contains a haiku and line of Japanese verse on each spread. Young's beautiful collages have an almost 3-D effect and perfectly complement the spiritual, lyrical text. While the story of Wabi Sabi's journey will hold some appeal for younger children, this is a book to be savored and contemplated and will be most appreciated by children old enough to grasp its subtle meaning. Translations are provided for the Japanese text as well as notes on haiku and the history of wabi sabi to place the whole lovely package in context".
Yes that was a lot written that I did not say, but sometimes to truly capture something someone else has the words. ( )
  EMiMIB | Jul 28, 2019 |
Beautiful. ( )
  liz.mabry | May 13, 2019 |
A cat names Wabi Sabi is trying to dissever what her name really means but everyone keeps saying "thats hard to explain". So she goes on an adventure to find her identity.
  darianskie | Oct 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Reibsteinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Young, EdIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Kosho Hannya Wo Danzu

An old pine tree can teach you the sacred truths.

-- Zen Proverb
Wabi Sabi is a way of seeing the world that is at the heart of Japanese culture. It finds beauty and harmony in what is simple, imperfect, natural, modest, and mysterious. It can be a little dark, but it is also warm and comfortable. It may best be understood as a feeling, rather than as an idea.
Dedication
For Lauren and Lena

-- M.R.
To providence hidden in tragic circumstances.
It points to yet another opportunity to fully realize this book.

-- E.Y.
First words
Wabi Sabi was a cat who lived in Kyoto, Japan.
Quotations
"That's hard to explain."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wabi Sabi, a cat living in the city of Kyoto, learns about the Japanese concept of beauty through simplicity as she asks various animals she meets about the meaning of her name.

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Book description
Wabi Sabi, a little cat in Kyoto, Japan, had never thought much about her name until friends visiting from another land asked her owner what it meant.

At last, the master
Says, "That's hard to explain." And
That is all she says.


This unsatisfying answer sets Wabi Sabi on a journey to uncover the meaning of her name, and on the way discovers what wabi sabi is: a Japanese philosophy of seeing beauty in simplicity, the ordinary, and the imperfect.

Using spare text and haiku, Mark Reibstein weaves an extraordinary story about finding real beauty in unexpected places. Caldecott Medal-winning artist Ed Young complements the lyrical text with breathtaking collages. Together, they illustrate the unique world view that is wabi sabi. [publisher description]
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