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Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers Review by Heidi Strawser

By Gloria Whelan

Sleeping Bear Press
310 North Main Street, Suite 300
Chelsea, MI 48118

Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers is a beautifully illustrated, hardbound children's book from one of my favorite publishers--Sleeping Bear Press. It is part of their "Tales of the World" series. The goal of this series of books is to bring the world to young readers: "These stories allow young readers to travel the globe visiting distant lands and experiencing shared dreams. Atmospheric artwork captures the landscape, spirit, and culture of faraway places." The author, Gloria Whelan, does not disappoint; her books for children are always rich in both history and detail, and they have a way of bringing the past to life.

Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers is a tale of a young Japanese girl named Yuki, whose father is a provincial governor. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these governors had to make a 300-mile journey between Kyoto and modern-day Tokyo (then called Edo). Their families would join them on this journey, which required between one and three thousand "carriers" (or attendants, who would literally carry the family members and all of their belongings). Yuki doesn't want to make this long journey; her heart is full of questions and fear. But as they set out on the journey and she is able to see the beauty of her country, her heart is softened and she actually enjoys her trip.

Spread throughout the story itself are bits and pieces of a haiku poem that Yuki is writing about her journey. The story is interesting and descriptive. It is a great introduction to life in another time and another culture.

The cover price of this book is $17.95. I would definitely recommend it, along with any book by Sleeping Bear Press and author Gloria Whelan. I've seen several other books by the author and publisher and have been impressed with all of them.

Product review by Heidi Strawser, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2008