• Ratha Tep

Interview with Akiko Miyakoshi, THE WAY HOME IN THE NIGHT

As a young bunny is carried by his mother home in the dark night, he sees lights in the windows, and hears and smells what his neighbors might be doing: talking on the phone, pulling a pie out of the oven, having a party, saying goodbye. As the bunny's father tucks him into bed, the bunny continues to wonder about his neighbors' activities in this dreamlike tale.


Pick by Matthew Forsythe, POKKO AND THE DRUM and Matthew Burgess, BIRD BOY:


THE WAY HOME IN THE NIGHT

Written and illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi

Publisher: Kids Can Press (April 4, 2017)

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What inspired you to write The Way Home in the Night? AM: "I used to live in Berlin. There, I saw many homes through the windows. Most of the windows didn't have a curtain (it's different in Japan!) and I could see many kinds of life. It looked sometimes dramatic or melancholic or sympathetic. I imagined many lives in them. It was impressive and I drew some pictures of what I saw, for example, someone calling by a building window or someone looking out a train window. This story was started from those pictures."


Do you have any other favorite picture books that explore the nighttime? "Goodnight Moon, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, describes directly the tender atmosphere and feelings which cannot be told by words. I think this book shows childhood happiness and is close to The Way Home in the Night in this way. Chris Van Allsburg, who wrote and illustrated The Polar Express, is one of my favorite authors. His illustrations are really powerful and draw me into his imagined world. I can enjoy his fantasy world so vividly with all of its high technology. Every time I open the pages, I can feel the excitement of the special day and the smell of winter."

What would be on your list of 100 best picture books of all time? "Dawn by Uri Shulevitz is the book that inspired me to draw a picture book before I went to art university. I found this book at the bookstore near my school and it changed my image of a picture book completely. I used to think picture books were only for kids. But Dawn showed how picture books can have universal expressions, including for kids. I love the beautiful and quiet moments in this book."