“Friendship, duty, and longing for new experiences combine in this reflective work of art.”
In grainy black and white, a hotelier stands behind the front desk, an aged key rack hung on the wallpapered wall behind him, and greets a guest while exuding happiness and contentment—“This is my hotel. Small but cozy, it’s my pride and joy.” Yet as the long day ends and the hotelier lies down to rest, he shares a secret: “As I close my eyes to go to sleep, I feel a great yearning to go far, far away.” In his dream, enlivened with muted colors, he sees a rainbow, feels the ocean breeze, and, most importantly, visits friends who have stayed at his hotel over the years. In the morning he is dutifully back to work preparing for more guests to arrive, but as light streams in the window by the front desk on the final page, he is nowhere in sight—has he merely stepped away, or has he finally set off on his journey? Miyakoshi’s reflective story is conveyed powerfully by minimal narration and nostalgic illustrations that together masterfully capture the innate human conflict between contentment and desire for adventure, duty and spontaneity, and the heart’s desire for travel, new experiences, friendship and journey. Miyakoshi’s impressionistic style shines on multiple pages, but especially so as the hotelier stands on the beach with black and white serving as base tones while yellow and purple shine through, and her use of lighting and shadow is magnificent throughout.
The illustrations are remarkable, muted and grainy yet full of emotion. It's a bittersweet story of dreaming of new experiences while being grateful for and taking pride in the ones you've had and the friendships you've made along the way.
The illustrations on this feel like a classic (almost like Chris Van Allsburg, but with a very unique color palette in the dream images as well), and it's a lovely, peaceful, wistful story about being content and also being adventurous.
Akiko Miyakoshi was born in Saitama, on the island of Honshu in Japan. She began creating picture books while studying visual communication design at Musashino Art University. Her first picture book, The Storm, won the Nissan Children’s Storybook and Picture Book Grand Prix.Akiko Miyakoshi was born in Saitama, on the island of Honshu in Japan. She began creating picture books while studying visual communication design at Musashino Art University. Her first picture book, The Storm, won the Nissan Children’s Storybook and Picture Book Grand Prix.
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