Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yuki's Ride Home

All morning, I've been obsessively going through boxes of old photos to find images from my trip to Japan in 1996. A great book like Yuki's Ride Home by Manya Tessler can do that to me; take me back to a lovely, far away place on such a cold and dreary January day. Mmmmm..... that udon soup in the illustration above is making my mouth water, Manya!

Manya Tessler's illustrations are gorgeous, with wonderful blends of color and soft shading. Her work is minimal with simple, clean lines yet full of delicate human emotions. Manya hails from Queens, NY yet lived and worked as an English teacher in Wakayama, Japan from 1998-2000. She credits Tamaki-sensei, a master sumi-e artist and his wife Fumi-san, a doll maker for teaching and sharing their home with her and inspiring her own art. I found a great interview of her at Monica Wellington's Book Blog.

Yuki's Ride Home is the sory about a little girl who rides her bike to Grandma's to spend a perfect day and when evening comes, she is afraid to ride home alone. Knowing that she must accept the challenge and journey home, she does,
learning to let go of her fears and ultimately, grow up.

This book was published in 2008 by Bloomsbury Children's Books and I am already looking forward to another book by this incredible author/illustrator.

The two photos I am sharing with you were taken in Kyoto at the famous Kiyomizu hillside temple. There I am in the far left corner and Steve is on the far right. (this is when we first started dating :) Next to him are friends, Yoshiko of the's, Toru of Guitar Wolf and Ono of the Jet Boys. I can't believe I actually wore those heels to walk a zillion temple steps!! Ahhh....... to be 25.

As a sort-of New Year's resolution, my sister and I are going to try to eat a little healthier and cook more meat-less dishes this year. Nancy called me to tell me that she found an amazing new cookbook at her favorite bookstore in Berkeley. The author of the Veganomicon has a really cool website called the post punk kitchen. Nancy is already raving about three of the recipes she tried and I'm going to attempt to make the sushi in this cute video clip here.


  1. What a lovely post! Thanks for pointing me to this book. Can't wait to read it. Happy New Year :)!

  2. What a fun post! Those illustrations are beautiful and I liked to see the Japan photos. I tried out another of Isa's recipes yesterday and it was a hit. Have you made sushi yet?

  3. Jama!! My sister and I are honored to have the award winning author of Dumpling Soup visit and comment on our blog!!!! I can't believe your book is 15 years old already. A timeless classic.
    Yes, the author/artist Manya Tessler is super talented and very nice too. You will LOVE this book.
    Happy New Year!
    And Nancy, I'll have to show you the rest of my photos. I had a tough time choosing. We made the sushi last night! It was a big hit with the kids too. I took some picures and maybe I'll post them on my art blog this week-end.


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