Mari Takabayashi Forever

I love Mari Takabayashi’s I Live in Brooklyn (2004). After buying this book several years ago for my (Manhattan) children, I couldn’t get enough of Takabayashi and all her round-faced, Marimekko print-wearing girls.

Mari_Takabayashi2Takabayashi paints like a Japanese Grandma Moses, and I mean that in the best way.

Carroll_Gardens_TakabayashiWhen I realized Takabayashi had previously written something similar called I Live in Tokyo (2001), I had to get that one immediately, of course. As a kid I would have died for this book — I’ve been obsessed with Japan ever since my friend Tomoko shared her rice balls with me in first grade. I_Live_In_TokyoTakabayashi often does these nice little pictorial guides to her characters’ stuff, sort of in the vein of a Richard Scarry word book. They are easy to obsess over.Mari_Takabayashi6 Rush Hour (1996), which has text by Christine Loomis, is the artist’s totally charming portrayal of a working day in New York City, book-ended by the hectic morning and evening commutes.Mari_Takabayashi7I used to read Rush Hour to my kids when they were little — I thought it was a nice way for them to make sense of where their parents had been all day. Mari_Takabayashi4True, all Takabayashi’s books pretty much look the same. And the stories are not remotely plot-driven. But who cares? Wouldn’t you want your kids to sleep in this room from Marshmallow Kisses (2000)?Mari_Takabayashi8 See Mari Takabayashi’s website here.

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