Hands up if you’re guilty of wishing Spring would hurry up already? 🙋🏼♀️ Super hypocritical of me, as I must tell Prim, “don’t wish your life away” at least once a week when she talks about summer holidays, starting school or ‘being older so I can stay up late’. So I empathise fully with both Miyuki *and* her grandfather, in today’s book.
On the first day of spring, Miyuki is eager to see a peony - still tightly in bud - open. Her grandfather gently reminds her to be patient; the flower needs the purest water to help it bloom. Impatient, she visits a well, bringing up a large toad, who advises her to wait for rain. She simply cannot wait, and climbs up into the clouds herself, armed with a bucket. Again, no joy. The waterfall advises her to wait until nightfall, which is simply too long! When a little boy shares some water with her, she is so keen to get back to the flower that she trips and spills the water. Soon, the first day of Spring has passed and Miyuki sleeps, exhausted by her labours. The following day, her grandfather reminds her again to be patient; she doesn’t want to waste another day. Finally, she sits with him and waits. Her patience is duly rewarded when the peony opens, in all its ruffled, resplendent glory.
My love for this book is STRONG. The messages about delayed gratification, learning from our elders and the splendour of nature are beautifully presented, and the story itself, partnered with the most exquisite Japanese-inspired illustrations are breathtaking. But the icing on the cake for me is having a book dedicated to the magnificence of the peony, my favourite flower and the main reason we chose to get married when we did, in the six-week window of peony season!
Children will recognise themselves in Miyuki, and parents empathise with her grandfather. This one is a real art and I’m now on the lookout for Time For Bed, Miyuki. Thank you Hannah at @abramschronicle for this @papress beauty.
#PatienceMiyuki #roxanemariegalliez @sengsounratanavanh #japanesestyle #delayedgratification #firstdayofspring #newbeginnings #peonies #intergenerational