Wabi Sabi: An Unusual Children’s Book

5 Apr

I found the story about this book on Brain Pickings. A beautiful book and a beautiful philosophy.


Wabi sabi is a beautiful Japanese concept that has no direct translation in English. Both an aesthetic and a worldview, it connotes a way of living that finds beauty in imperfection and accepts the natural cycle of growth and decay. Wabi Sabi is also the title of a fantastic 2008 picture-book by Mark Reibstein, with original artwork by acclaimed Chinese children’s book illustrator Ed Young, exploring this wonderful sensibility through the story of a cat who gets lost in her hometown of Kyoto only to find herself in the process. (For, lest we forget, we only find ourselves by getting lost.)

The book reads like a scroll, from top to bottom, and features a haiku and a Japanese verse on each spread, adorned with Young’s beautifully textured artwork.

wabisabi3Read the full story.


2 Responses to “Wabi Sabi: An Unusual Children’s Book”

  1. beeholdn April 5, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    So lovely! I very much look forward to reading the book, thanks for introducing it.
    By the way, isn’t Maria Popova’s site wonderful? I only discovered it a couple of years ago so there’s a lot on it yet to be encountered . . .


    • sleepygirl2 April 5, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

      It is wonderful and I, too, have much more to find on it. As for the book, my dad was stationed in Japan during the Korean War and I my have to find a copy of that book for him.


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