REVIEW: “Taro-San the Fisherman and the Weeping Willow Tree


taro san the fishermanTaro-San the Fisherman and the Weeping Willow Tree
By Richard Hatch

Review by: Lis

Richard Hatch wanted to do more with his developing act of manipulating a Japanese bamboo mat at his magic shows. So, he wrote a story to go with the act. Then, he published it in a book.

The cover alone is attractive. Illustrated by Andras Balogh of Hungary and translated into Japanese by Yukishige Kadoya–the characters run along the side of each page–this is a very visually appealing story book for children. I expect, though have not yet seen, it will be even more entertaining than it already is when accompanied by Hatch’s tamasurdare mat, which can be magically twisted and turned Transformer-like into various shapes to tell the story.

The story is of a young man who sets out in his boat on the ocean to become what he has always wanted to be–a fisherman, but he discovers there’s more to fishing than casting your net in the water.

What I think would be neat is if a smaller, simpler version of the tamasurdare mat could be sold with the book so children (or their parents) could make some of the shapes while reading the story. The story is a great way to introduce kids to Japanese culture as well as practice reading skills–in English and Japanese.

Hatch, of the local Hatch Academy of Music and Magic, will be performing his act along with signing his new book, “Taro-San the Fisherman and the Weeping Willow Tree” Saturday, March 9 in our Concert Hall. He will be performing the story his wife, Rosemary, who will play a violin transcription of Michio Miyagi’s “Haru no Umi” (The Sea of Spring). The event is friendly for all ages and a great reason to get out of the house on a Saturday morning.

Let us know you’re coming on the Facebook page created for this event: http://www.facebook.com/events/559764017374923/.

To read the Deseret News review of the book, click here.

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