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    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    BOOKENDS: Japan Ai (from the Intern)
    Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan by Aimee Major Steinberger

    This is not your typical graphic novel. Basically, it’s a really cool travelogue describing Aimee Steinberger’s dream trip to Japan. Aimee (the author) is a professional animator, so she decided to illustrate the highlights from her trip. She also happens to be a major fangirl who loves all things Japanese, and she spent much of her trip to Tokyo and Kyoto dressing up as her favorite Japanese characters, watching Japanese musical theatre, and spotting scenes from her favorite anime and manga; basically soaking up the culture… especially the pop culture.

    I loved reading about Aimee’s adventures. I have been to Japan, so reading the book brought back some memories for me, especially because, like Aimee, I am a fairly tall girl and definitely at times had that feeling of sticking out like a big sore thumb! “Japan Ai” is a quick and easy read, and a great book for any manga/anime lover who wants to see Japan firsthand. Er, almost firsthand! Aimee’s descriptions are very accurate and her drawings are great, and the book is full of funny stories (like Aimee trying desperately to fit her size 11 feet into tiny Japanese shoes).

    PS- If you like reading the illustrated-travelogue-slash-diary-type-thing, you might also like You Can Never Find A Rickshaw When It Monsoons by Mo Willems (the “Don’t Let the Pigeon…” guy).

    From the intern, Erin

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