Sunday, 27 May 2012

Y is for Kazumi Yamoto

Kazumi Yamoto is a Japanese author and musician. Her books for children and young adults often portray life in an ordinary Japanese home, and also deal with difficult issues like illness and death.

The Friends and Letters from the Living do so for young adults while The Bear and the Wildcat tackles similar themes for younger children.

Originally published in Japan in 2008, Cathy Hirano's elegant translation was published in 2011 by Gecko Press. Their strapline is "Curiously good books from around the world", which seems an excellent goal for a publisher! It also features lovely black and white illustrations by Komako Sakai, one of the most popular illustrators in Japan.

It's a sensitive and touching story of Bear, whose best friend the little bird has died. For a long time he is inconsolable, but eventually he ventures out and meets a wildcat who helps him to come to terms with his loss and face the future. Bear is able to remember the happy times he shared with the bird.

I've borrowed a copy from the library, and it has come from the bereavement section. Now I've written about it, I'll have to return it as soon as possible, just in case there's anyone out there who needs it.


  1. I enjoyed Japanese authors I have read so far. The Bear and the Wildcat sounds like a great story!

  2. The book The bear and the wildcat seems to be a great story.It should have been translated in a different languages.I think many children would be really inspired by the story.This is the kind of book that younger ones should read.I hope this could be published in chinese translation and other translation as well.Thanks for sharing.