Ichiro and the Great Mountain
Gyroscope Books (2022)
Reviewed by Grady Darrell, (Age 9) for Reader Views (10/2022)
“Ichiro and the Great Mountain” is a thought-provoking book with a simple plot, yet a hidden message. The book is about a boy named Ichiro who lives on the shores of the Great Mountain and is happy but grows restless. When something new comes along, like a boat or a house, he asks about it, then asks if the people working on it are happy. He then goes there, and the cycle continues, eventually leading back home.
If W. Nikola-Lisa wished to create a book with a simple plot, yet with a message buried in between the lines, then I think that he fully accomplished that through the cycle of being happy then growing restless, and asking to move, yet eventually returning home. It’s hard to give an example of a deeper meaning because a deeper meaning is written in between the lines, something you can’t simply quote. I think that the hidden moral is to be grateful for what you have, but also that when you’re happy, focus on that, not on what more you could have.
Some of my favorite aspects of the book are 1: The cycle, which is emphasized through the consistent form of each page, and 2: The style, with the simple-but-beautiful lines, such as “Ichiro loved his new life. He loved the spray of the ocean against his face.” Yet don’t be fooled — there is a more complex book hidden in between the lines.
Although I don’t usually read this type of book, I enjoyed reading this book a lot. It also ties into something me and my father have been doing—Buddhism! Ichiro’s simple way of living, with counting his blessings, acknowledging his sufferings, and learning to let them go, reminds me of the lessons my dad and I have been talking about.
W. Nikola-Lisa writes excellently, especially for his genre. With brief, consistent lines that convey a deeper message, he understands his way of writing and does it well. I don’t have much knowledge of this type of literature, but in my eyes, the book needs no improvement and is written expertly. The illustrations also played a big part in the experience of the book, really drawing out the power of the writing.
I would recommend this book to an audience of 9-13, especially those who like rhythmic, consistent books, and those who have a more philosophical brain.
In conclusion, “Ichiro and the Great Mountain” is a thought-provoking book with a deeper message in between the lines. If you are the type of person who enjoys deceptively simple books, books that really encourage you to think, I would definitely recommend this one!
No responses yet