Thank You, Miyuki

Image of Thank You, Miyuki
Release Date: 
September 1, 2020
Princeton Architectural Press (Children's Books)
Reviewed by: 

“Thank You, Miyuki is a treasure.”   

Thank You, Miyuki fits so gently into the Miyuki series created by Galliez and Ratanavanh that the reader will glide easily from Time for Bed, Miyuki to Patience, Miyuki and right into this third installment and never lose the sense of enchantment.

Miyuki is a young girl with a darling, innocent personality and a playful imagination. She is looked after by her grandfather whose wisdom is based in classic eastern philosophy.

Waking early in the day to a poetic and lyrical setting, Miyuki finds Grandpa’s ease as he tries to guide her energy. Throughout the day, Grandpa models this ease over and over as a way to encourage Miyuki’s observation of the world around her.

As Miyuki tussles about she notices her grandfather being still and meditating and she asks him to show her how to play that meditation “game.” Wandering the lush and vibrant garden surroundings, Miyuki sees bees, stones, and grass, and she asks, “When do we start to meditate?” She watches the glistening water, the shaping of clouds, the warm sun and soft raindrops, and she asks, “When will we meditate?”

Grandpa looks back over the sensations of the day and teaches Miyuki that all of those moments were each, of themselves, mediation moments. Miyuki, by reflecting, becomes aware that she had been meditating all day long, moment by moment. With astute self-awareness that children can sometimes see quite deeply, Miyuki determines that meditation is really a matter of being present, “Grandpa, doesn’t it feel good to be here right now?”

Readers, too, will linger in the feel-good presence of the beautifully surreal book in front of them. The artwork is tender, magical, interesting, soothing. In a design full of patterns and a muted jewel-toned palette, Miyuki herself changes from contrasting with the world around her as she’s playing and frolicking with energy, to blending in with the world around her as her awareness increases, to actually being transparent in the world as she disappears to become part of it.

The variety of the subtle yet dynamic illustration shifts is captivating. Each page matches the mood of the nicely flowing text perfectly and forms a brilliantly rule-breaking design that is conducive to opening up young minds toward receiving a new way of seeing their world. It is hard to find anything to be critical about; Thank You, Miyuki is a treasure.