Published by: Troubador Publishing Ltd
ISBN 13: 9781784628390
Published: March 2015
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Publisher Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five
Peppered through with illustrations, this is a rather sweet younger-readers book about a boy called Shoji who lives in Japan in a mountain village. His father is a woodcarver, the mother looks after the family and he also has a younger sister. There is to be an ice carving competition which Shoji wishes to enter, and as his father is a woodcarver, surely there are skills to be passed on to his son in oder for him to win the grand prize!
With a visit to the North Pole with Jack Frost himself, Shoji and another child Orochi meet a range of other characters and issues they must overcome, leaving the reader with an excellent adventure. Though this is a longer novel than most children at this reading level would be used to, the amount of illustrations throughout and short chapters make it an achievable venture.
At times the drawings are rather childish than effective, but mostly they manage to add to the story, and provide suitable resting places for children still learning to read independently. It’s also a bit odd to have such Western characters in this such as Jack Frost and Father Winter when this book is otherwise strong in Japanese culture, but then it makes it a bit more relatable to children not from Japan, and also shows Japanese children characters they see themselves in Western media, which is growing more and more popular in the country.
Overall this is quite a sweet book, perfect for a winter’s read with children in front of a roaring fire.