Apr 17, 2012

Happy Happy Clover

vol 2
by Sayuri Tatsuyama

Another volume of manga for kids, about a little rabbit and her friends. Because this is still a rather new format for me, I've been enjoying the little stories and not focusing much on its structure. On the third book, though, I started to notice some things. The stories roughly follow the seaons: usually the opening tale is during winter, then spring comes, followed by summer, autumn but the final stories are in winter again. I like that, it feels like I'm reading through an abbreviated year. At the end of each tale is a small panel giving further details or events related to the story, it's called "Clover's Fun Doodle Pad" and is sometimes even funnier than the main story. I like how each of these has a month named by something that occurs at that time in nature: "the month when fireflies dance" or "the month when leaves turn red" etc. Although most of the content is grounded in nature- the rabbits love veggies, are afraid of humans, their bear friend hibernates, etc. - there are also lots of human elements too: they live in houses, cook, sleep in beds. The young ones go to school, there's a postal service, the birds (annoying) rap everything they say, they play musical instruments...

Well, anyway, some of the things that happen in this book: Clover tries to trick Rambler into taking her traveling with him by challenging him to an obstacle race, but Rambler gets stuck. She runs into a human girl who wants to keep her as a pet, but Clover's having none of that! Shallot- a very bookwormish bunny- prefers reading to playing and is puzzled when the other young rabbits want to be his friend. The rapping birds (their rhythm and rhymes are awful) compete with the bunnies to see who can deliver a message more accurately. Clover confronts a ghost. Kale's little brothers try to turn themselves into a package so they can be part of the mail delivery. The animals' teacher, an owl, goes away for a conference so the young one's fathers take turn substituting; Clover is embarrassed by her dad's ineptitude (at first). Clover tells a story about Santa Claus to the baby bunnies, but when she discovers Santa only delivers to human children, she and her friends have to make gifts (quite a challenge!) to avoid disappointing the little ones. But the best part of the book to me was at the end- a little afterword segment that highlighted some of the characters. In Rambler's piece, everyone admires him and speculates what hardships and trials he braved in his travels- as evidenced by his tattered ears, of course. Then he tells what they really came from, all mundane injuries like scratching a bug bite too hard. It made me laugh.

rating: 3/5 ........ 192 pages, 2009

more opinions:
Manga Maniac Cafe
Slightly Biased Manga

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