For the first in a number of posts sharing some of the strange and pretty books I picked up on my travels this year, I have chosen one of my favorites: Only One Me, a beautiful and surreal children's book written by poet Shuntaro Tanikawa and illustrated by Shigeru Miwa, published by Balloon-sha. I can't find much info about the creator of these great illustrations, but the inside flap of the book teases with thumbnails of three other tantalizing titles by Miwa: It's really like this--, Why don't they ever ask me, and Grandma-- another duo-tone picture which according to Steven Heller's Design Literacy explores a child's emotions observing Alzheimer's disease, a more taboo and personal topic for Japanese children's books. Below I'm posting some extremely crude shots of some of my favorite pages of Only One Me, which you may click to enlarge.
UPDATED: My friend Yasushi has just schooled me on Shuntaro Tanikawa, informing me that not only is he, now over 70 years old, one of the most well-known Japanese poets, but he also wrote both the original "Astro Boy" theme lyrics and co-wrote the screenplay for Kon Ichikawa's film "Tokyo Olympiad." In addition to publishing plentiful books of poetry and children's books he also translated "Peanuts" into Japanese. Wow. Thanks Yasushi!