The touching relationship between a kid and her grandmother is captured in this dreamy debut.
The Ignatz-nominated and MoCCA Arts Festival Award–winning cartoonist Rumi Hara invites you to visit the magical world of Nori (short for Noriko), a spirited three-year-old girl who lives with her parents and grandmother in the suburbs of Osaka during the 1980s. Since both of Nori's parents work full-time, her grandmother is Nori’s caregiver and companion—forever following as the three-year-old dashes off on fantastical adventures.
One evening Nori meets an army of bats—the symbol of happiness—and invites them into the house. Another day, she chases a missing rabbit through the schoolyard while performing as a moon in the class play, bringing to life the myth of the Moon Rabbit. A ditch by the side of the road opens to a world of kids, crawfish, and beetles, not to mention a golden frog and albino salamander. That night, her grandma takes Nori to the Bon Odori festival to dance with her ancestors. When Nori wins a trip to Hawaii, she finds herself swimming with a sea turtle, although she never learned how to swim.
As her worldview expands, Nori learns to balance the reality of what she sees with the mythology her grandma teaches her. Hara’s mesmerizing black-and-white artwork with alternating spot-color draws on East Asian folklore and Japanese culture to create an enchanting milieu and a resonant story about childhood.