illus. by author. 152p. Drawn & Quarterly. 2012. pap. $17.95. ISBN 978-1-77046-067-6.
Gr 3–8—After eating everything in the house, Voguchi (named only in the cover blurb) is sent out to get rice and a giant egg from the market. However, she accidentally switches eggs with that of a traveling bird, which hatches into a mischievous, shape-shifting, spirit. Things proceed to get truly weird thereafter as Voguchi chases her look-alike, chastises the artist of the comic in which she's appearing, ages rapidly, and dashes through other surreal vignettes. Told almost entirely silently, with only the odd sound effect or untranslatable Asian dialogue, this book rarely has more than two sequential images per page, which can make it a deceptively quick read. The pages are populated with a catalogue of absurdities, including robots, giant sushi, and characters that are redolent of the Shinto spirits in Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (Viz, 2002). This is a much more organic affair with amusing and tactile inking and effective spot color providing depth and a subtle setting. A strong mythological element pervades the book, giving it an attempt at groundedness that helps balance the enjoyable flights of imaginative fancy. However, those looking for a clear narrative and a succinct ending won't find them in this otherwise charming, whimsical reading experience.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH

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