Vols 11 and 12
by Kiyohiko Azuma
Yotsuba loves noodles. She wanders down the street by herself to an udon shop- and naturally wants to watch the old man make noodles. The shopowners kindly oblige until her dad shows up! She tries pizza for the first time- it is amazing. Yanda comes over- and everyone hides. Haha. For the first time he gets into Yotsuba\’s good graces- sort of- by bringing a variety of bubble wands. Many, and huge. Yotsuba goes with Fuuka and her friend to gather chestnuts- but the older girls- especially Asagi- are grossed out because many are infested with larvae. (I can so relate. We collected hickory nuts one year- never again). Yotsuba throws a temper tantrum when her dad won’t let her use his new digital camera. He gets her a kid one and she goes out through the neighborhood taking pictures. She confronts a dog that has always frightened her on walks- and her teddy bear gets the worst of that encounter. Asagi gives the bear ‘surgery’ – Yotsuba is seriously sad while her bear is missing. Yanda tries to cheer her up- and of course that backfires, he only makes her mad. But she gets the idea to go ‘visit’ her bear while it is recovering, and all is well again.
It’s fall in this volume. Yotsuba watches geese fly overhead, and Fuuka dresses her up as a pumpkin to play at Halloween- which nobody else is doing around them, it’s not a real holiday there. Yotsuba sees Jumbo painting a small table at his flower shop; later at home she finds a can of blue paint and decides to paint stuff in her own house. Of course she gets in trouble, but instead of punishing her, Daddy just lets her suffer the natural consequences- she’s horrified that the blue paint won’t come off her hands, and everyone she meets going to the store and stuff can find out what she did. By the time he buys a product to help her get cleaned up, she’s probably not going to do that again! Yotsuba gets a bike helmet- and thinks it makes her invincible to other things. She goes camping with her dad and his friends- Ena and Miura come along too. Yotsuba is upset at first that Yanda is part of the outing, but she gets over it- he is not quite as annoying this time. The camping episodes were my favorite part. The kids are awed by the tent, and enthralled with a hammock, and love cooking outside, and get introduced to roasted marshmallows, and enjoy the wide open spaces, sunrises, walks in the woods- all great stuff.
Rating: 3/5 224 pages each, 2011 and 2013 respectively