Kiyohiko Azuma is the bestselling creator of YOTSUBA&! and AZUMANGA DAIOH.
Yotsuba is the charming new girl in town in this all-ages shojo manga by the author of the popular Azumanga Daioh series. In seven stories, the green-haired four-year-old discovers air conditioners, doorbells, cicadas, swings and more, and does it all with the energy of a small hurricane. Her excitement is contagious and infects her handsome young adoptive father as well as the gaggle of pretty girls next door, all of whom get tangled up in her adventures as they try to keep up with her. But is there something strange about Yotsuba's lack of familiarity with the earthly world? The mystery of her origins is partially revealed in the final story: her father, Mr. Koiwai, found her and took her in, but Azuma seems to hint that there's more to be explained about Yotsuba. Koiwai sums up the reaction everyone seems to have to this little bundle of energy: "She can find happiness in anything," he says. "Nothing in this world can get her down." The plots here are little more than setups to explore everyday objects or concepts through the eyes of the irrepressible Yotsuba, but the genuinely sweet formula works, thanks to Azuma's solid storytelling and deft humor. (June 6) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
After a 20-month hiatus during which the future of the series in English was uncertain, ADV Manga has finally released a new volume of Azuma's (Azumanga Daioh) winning manga comedy, of which Vol. 1 made LJ's Best Graphic Novels of 2005 list (LJ 1/06). This series focuses on the day-to-day life of Yotsuba, an independent and enthusiastic but naive six-year-old girl, as she tries to make sense of her world with the help of friends, neighbors, and her easygoing adoptive father. In this volume, she demonstrates her secret badminton technique, goes fishing and grocery shopping, and even starts her own newspaper. Yotsuba can be the quintessential kid who says the darndest things, as when she clumsily tries to cheer up middle-sister-next-door Fuka, who's been disappointed in love. But the series also has real heart and an appealing whimsy, shown here when Yotsuba acts out a dream she has about the ending of summer. And part of its charm is that some of the people around Yotsuba aren't afraid to mess with her head a little bit, all in fun. The appeal of this series ranges across genders and age groups, and it remains highly recommended for all libraries.-S.R. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.