Patience, Miyuki

Patience, Miyuki
Roxane Marie Galliez and Seng Soun Ratanavanh
Princeton Architectural Press

I’ve not met Miyuki before although this book is a follow up to Time for Bed, Miyuki and it seems slightly strange to receive for review as summer gives way to autumn, a story about the magic of spring. Nonetheless it’s a beauty and so worth drawing attention to.

Miyuki is excited at the arrival of spring and cannot wait to revel in the joys it brings. On her walk with her Grandfather she notices a flower that is yet to open. “Be patient” she’s told, this delicate little flower needs the purest water.

At these words she’s off on a mission to find that water to make the flower burst into bloom.

Her quest leads to an encounter with a toad in a well, a pretty cloud, a beautiful waterfall

and a boy watering his garden who does provide her with what she seeks.

In her haste to return however she trips, hurts her leg and spills the water.

As a result she has to stop and in the silence of the moment she hears the song of the river. “Be patient,” it says promising to take her home.

Lulled by the water, she falls asleep and the river keeps its promise carrying her home, borne by an origami swan to her Grandfather.

Next morning, the second day of spring, Grandfather is able to get her to be still

so that she can observe the wonderful surprise that awaits.

There’s a dream-like quality to this sweet, soft-spoken story that is reflected in Seng Soun Ratanavan’s beautiful jewel-coloured, occasionally playful, illustrations of the natural world, some of which include traditional Japanese objects.

Enjoy the moment is the message of this book, and it’s one we could all do with paying heed to in our increasingly busy times, whatever the season.

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