Aug 28, 2017

Yotsuba&!

Vols 9 and 10
by Kiyohiko Azuma

I'm still enjoying these. Yotsuba tries to write a schedule for her day, but really gets the wrong idea- noting down every second, for things that can't really be predicted- but sure are important when you're little (like remembering to go to the bathroom). She gets a new teddy bear. Her manner of talking to the bear, and the kinds of names she makes up- so much like my own little girl. Her dad gets a new coffee grinder and Yotsuba thinks this is a grown-up's toy. In a way I guess she's right. She wants to share her dad's new coffee (it's supposed to be extra-good) with Fuuka next door, but always spills on her way over, no matter how careful. So one day the girls follow Yotsuba back to her house- they'll try the coffee there- of course Yotsuba has no qualms inviting them in, but Koiwai wasn't expecting company. The girls are a bit taken aback at seeing how a bachelor lives. Yotsuba gets to go see a hot-air balloon competition. Very impressive! Of course like all little kids she gets distracted, looks for fun elsewhere when the waiting is too long, and when the balloons arrive back in sight for the big finish, she is having too much fun sliding down a grassy hill to notice. So cute.

There's also several scenes were Yanda shows up again, inviting himself along on outings. The other two- Koiwai and Jumbo- kind of ignore him, question his antics, talk over him- I get the distinct impression they don't really like him but are being polite. I think he used to be one of their co-workers? Can't recall now, I am reading these books rather spaced apart. I keep expecting more explanation about Yotsuba's background, but there was none of that here. It is all about her now, in the moment.

In volume 10, Yotsuba plays house under her dad's desk- he tries to be patient but you can tell it makes it hard to work! She engages him in games where she makes up the rules- seemingly on-the-spot and in her favor. She helps her dad make pancakes, and that jerk Yanda walks in and mocks her efforts. Yotsuba gets frustrated and- because flipping pancakes is difficult, she tries harder- which means slamming them down on the stovetop. I laughed so hard both my kids came into the room to see what was so funny, so I read them that episode. My twelve-year-old said "I want to slam pancakes next time!" Nooo.

Jumbo sees photos of the outing Yotsuba and the girls went on to see the hot-air-balloons, and it becomes apparent he is jealous of Tora for always being in Asagi's company. Yotsuba really likes playing with the giant exercise ball Fuuka has, so Asagi lets her borrow it. She takes it home and throws it around- causing trouble! Her dad catches her out in a lie and takes her on a walk so she will confess in front of a shrine (for fear of the god). It was handled very well. She goes with Ena to Miura's house where she sees the pieces of the cardboard robot- which she still believes is real- so the older girls scramble to explain why it's there and make it appear to come back to life. She also rides an elevator for the first time. Lots of fun stuff.

I did find it a bit odd that in this volume, some of the pictures that show Yotsuba's handwriting, it's in english. I preferred to see it with the original japanese characters (as in previous volumes), with the translation next to the illustration. I don't know why that was changed.

Borrowed from the public library

Rating: 3/5          224 pages each, 2009 and 2010 respectively

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