'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Review: Mizuto and the Wind

This story is inspired by the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011 which took over 18,000 lives. 

Poignant and uplifting, it shines a light on the amazing tale of the wind phone of Otsuchi, and its role  in providing comfort to the distraught and grieving families of those missing.

Mizuto is a young boy who loves spending time with his father. On this day, as always, he farewells him as he leaves for work. Then everything alters.

For as Mizuto’s father takes the seaside route to work, the wind changes. The sea surges. Waves crash to the shore. Huge walls of water sweep everything and everyone away.

From one moment to the next, what was, isn’t anymore.

Louisa Gioffre-Suzuki's stunning watercolour illustrations are powerful and portray their own story. Her immersive translation enhances the mood and emotions of the characters, the power of the sea, and force of the tsunami. They leave a significant impression on the reader while complementing Kaye Baillie’s emotive, and carefully selected words.

The boy refuses to believe that his father won’t return. Overwhelmed by grief, his mother shuts herself away from him.

Mizuto sees his father in everything. Light has left his life.

This sadness is captured in a back view of his image in black, walking alone, away from his friends.

He overhears someone speak of Kaze no Denwa. Where is it and how is this unconnected phone connected to the wind?

Despite his mother’s disbelief, the boy sets out full of hope, to find this wind booth where people can send messages to those that are missing.

The following pages are filled with brightly coloured images, reflecting hope as it comes alive in the boy; the hope that his father will receive his messages of love. 

Stunning covers speak volumes. End pages use leaves floating on the wind to represent words being carried to those missing. Simple, perfect images.

Title: Mizuto and the Wind
Author: Kaye Baillie
Illustrator: Luisa Gioffre-Suzuki
Publisher: MidnightSun Publishing, $29.99
Publication Date: 1 June 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922858023
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book