Lani Yamamoto

Lani Yamamoto
Ari Magg
Lani Yamamoto: Stína stórasæng (Stina with the big duvet). Crymogea 2013

Stina Stórasæng (Stina with the big duvet), Lani Yamamoto's first children's book in Icelandic is a wonderfully beautiful and exquisite literary work. The book takes its title from the main character, a girl who is always freezing and is so frightened of the cold that she spends all her time, energy and imagination keeping the cold out and avoiding having to go out into the cold. Her warm, comfortable home becomes a prison of her own making and it becomes more and more difficult for Stina to crawl out from under the duvet to get out of bed. However, in the end, loneliness and the need for human company become stronger than her fear, and Stina ventures out. Instead of slurping hot cocoa, she keeps herself warm by laughing and playing with her friends. Stina learns a little bit of everything in the book, for example, that things are not as bad as she thinks - sometimes they are actually better.

The book's text is straightforward and simple, but the pictures are packed with details - something new always catches your attention, new dimensions to be examined at every reading - and in this way the pictures add something new to the story all the time. Stina's work sketches are particularly fun, showing the different tools and instruments she has thought of making to keep herself warm and prevent the cold getting in. Stina Stórasæng (Stina with the big duvet) is a story that it would probably be possible to tell with the words alone, and equally only with the pictures, but if you were to choose one of these two solutions, the book would lose its magic, because the text and the pictures tell the story together and make a fascinating whole.