Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa, illustrated by Ed Young
High atop a mountain lives a wealthy, wise, kind old man everyone calls Ojiisan, which means ‘grandfather’ in Japanese. While the rest of the village gathers to celebrate the annual rice ceremony, Ojiisan chooses to stay home, feeling something is not quite right. His prescience is well rewarded, as he sacrifices his own golden rice fields to a blaze large enough to warn the villagers below of the impending destruction in just enough time to save their very lives.
Once again, Caldecott Medalist Ed Young uses stunning collage to capture the old man’s mountaintop refuge, the undeniable force of the giant swirling wave that literally lifts then decimates the village in its wake … and finally the pride and hope on the young grandson’s face as he regales the villagers of his grandfather’s heroic sacrifice. The exciting story, by the way, is based on one of the late 19th-century tales of Japan from the world-famous ex-pat Lafcadio Hearn.