A deceptively simple, stunning tale of self-realization, enlightenment, and respect for one’s roots.…
Nikola-Lisa’s latest is a breathtaking tale of self-realization and awakening. Young Ichiro is content living on the Great Mountain with his parents, but his free-spirited nature makes him long for new adventures in distant lands. His wanderlust for the unfamiliar and distant takes him to faraway places, but a restlessness weighs heavy on his psyche. Will he ever find peace? Nikola-Lisa interweaves a literary folktale with the Buddhist concept of enlightenment. Told in brief, repetitive episodes, Ichiro’s journey from beginning to end sends a beautiful message: there’s no point looking for happiness outside. You’ve to look for it within because that’s where you will find it. Too long alone and out in the world, Ichiro heads back to his childhood home. It’s an empowering moment made all the better when he realizes that his journey has finally ended: “Gone was the restlessness that had long stirred his soul. Gone was the hunger for new adventures. In its place was a feeling of lightness, as if a great burden had been lifted from his shoulders.” The black-and-white illustrations use shapes with patterns, forms, and earthy hues to embody the protagonist’s growth that occurs within. Both text and art complement each other perfectly. This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for the upper elementary/middle school student and beyond. A stunner.
Ichiro and the Great Mountain
Pub date September 24, 2022
Price $18.99 (USD)