Book Review: The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy
Author: Claire Youmans
Price (Kindle Edition): $2.98
Genre: Historical Fiction
My reading journey started with the gems of Enid Blyton, Famous Five, and since then, I never miss the chance of exploring the world of tales weaved for children. The Toki-Girl and Sparrow-Boy by Claire Youmans is one such book and here’s my review of it:
Plot- Set in the Japanese Feudal age, this is the story of two bird children the Toki-girl, Azuki and her brother, the Sparrow-boy, Shota. Gifted by the Jizo to their parents, the bird children were leading a happy life until greed took over the Sheriff and he kidnapped Azuki.
Losing their parents amidst the chaos, Azuki decided to go on a journey to find her Toki-kin, to settle into a life where no human could be hurt because of her. While Azuki is on the route of self-acceptance, the little brother Shota has to bring Azuki back to the village before they are banished from a respectful life in the human world as he promised his dying mother.
On their own different paths, the children discover their destiny, their likes, and dislikes.
Along with the main story, runs another story that of a young Japanese woman, Anko and a western naval officer, Benjamin. Even though attracted to each other, both of them keep their feelings at bay knowing the cultural and traditional hurdles.
A war is breaking out in the Azuki’s village and they must return before the equinox before they are declared dead.
Also read: Book Review- ‘Motions and Moments: More Essays on Tokyo’ By Michael Pronko
- Cultural Introduction.
- Illustrations by Young Artists
- Rushed Ending
About the Author:
Claire Youmans is an accomplished adult non-fiction and mystery writer who has also written and edited innumerable articles, engaging audiences for over 20 years. With a deep love for Japan and its culture, Claire has traveled there extensively studying the country’s culture and folklore.
While working on a play produced in Tokyo, The Great Grateful Jizo, Claire was so inspired by two minor characters — Azuki, a Toki-Girl, and her brother, Shota, a Sparrow-Boy — that she expanded their story into The Toki Girl and the Sparrow Boy. With generous doses of adventure, suspense, folklore and fantasy, Claire has brought their visually compelling story into book form.
At times, boredom set in but it wore off with the introduction of the next mystical thing. Combining history and imagination, the author has made admirable efforts.
I grabbed the box set at an unbelievable price, so I’ll be commenting on the next two instalments as well. Meanwhile, give this book a chance and help your children expand the horizons of their imagination and know the Japanese culture.
Until Next Time,
Be kind to one another.