Grandma's Lost Treasure

How Kintsugi Turns Brokenness into Beauty

Children - Grade K-3rd
32 Pages
Reviewed on 01/23/2024
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Author Biography

David Huerta: Bridging Cultures Through Children's Stories

David Huerta's life journey is marked by his 25-year love affair with Japan, a country that has deeply influenced his perspective and creativity. As a children's book author, David is passionate about introducing young minds to the rich traditions of Japanese culture. His latest work, "Grandma’s Lost Treasure: How Kintsugi Turns Brokenness into Beauty," encapsulates his fascination with the philosophy of Kintsugi, teaching children to find beauty in imperfection.
David's experience teaching English in Kobe, Japan, has been pivotal in shaping his storytelling, blending educational insights with enchanting narratives. In addition to writing, David co-founded a tech marketing firm and is a devoted father and husband, with a home life enriched by Japanese cultural influences.
Through his engaging stories, David Huerta aims to inspire children to embrace diversity and find strength in their unique qualities.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Grandma's Lost Treasure is a children's picture book by David Huerta. Kin and Sugi are two siblings living on their grandmother's farm in the small mountain town of Daigo. While going through her attic, they stumble upon a mysterious box full of old dishes that had been gathering dust for years. Upon seeing the broken dishes, Kin and Sugi decide to restore them to their former glory. They gather natural sap from the nearby Urushi tree and mix it with rice powder to make a fine golden paste, which they use to mend the old dishes. Soon, they begin to see the change and marvel at how the imperfections brought life to the dishes and made them even more beautiful, all thanks to the Japanese art of Kintsugi.

Author David Huerta infuses his love for Japanese culture and arts into this delightful children's tale that tugs at your heartstrings in the most unexpected ways. Grandma's Lost Treasure is not just a fun read but also imparts a valuable lesson to readers. There is beauty to be found in imperfections or things that seem broken if only we know how to look for it. Apart from the engaging story, the meticulously detailed illustrations keep your eyes glued to the pages. Every character brings something of its own to the narrative, and despite this being a short story, Huerta manages to make them feel distinct with personalities of their own. I was not previously aware of Kintsugi, and this picture book has made me even more interested in this art form and Japanese culture in general. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to kids and adults alike.

Rosie Malezer

Grandma's Lost Treasure: How Kintsugi Turns Brokenness into Beauty is a delightful story written and illustrated by David Huerta. For many years, a teacup hides at the back of a cupboard because it has a chip, along with a rice bowl and other imperfect dishes. Old and neglected, they reminisce about years gone by before they are abruptly put into a box and moved to the attic. There they sit for many years until Kin and Sugi find the box and open it. Surprised, one of the broken dishes asks who the children are. After the dishes tell their story, the children then ask their Obachan about the dishes and are told that they had belonged to their great-grandmother long ago. The children decide to fix them all like new. The dishes are very excited to look new again and the children take them downstairs. When their grandmother sees them, she cries as she remembers such happy times with her mother.

Until reading Grandma's Lost Treasure, I can honestly say I had never heard of the art of Kintsugi. Using wondrous gifts from their history, the children brought something old and worn back to life in such a natural and beautiful way. Giving a personality to each of the broken dishes created a realism in how the dishes felt after being restored to something so beautiful and new. This is a children's story I will most definitely have to look further into as I truly love seeing life restored to something that otherwise would find its way to a sad ending. David Huerta has also given new knowledge to a whole generation who will soon learn the marvelous and magical art of Kintsugi. I feel that readers young and old will be amazed at this incredible tale.

Nino Lobiladze

A teacup with a splintered rim tries to hide in the far corner of the cupboard, along with other imperfect dishes. These cups and bowls have cracks and chips. All they can do now is remember the better times when they were whole and could serve their purpose. One day, a person came to the cupboard to put them into a box. The dishes spent years in the dark. Two little children, Kin and Sugi, found the dusty box in their grandmother's attic. They opened it and saw the old dishes that started talking to them! The rice bowl asked the children to help them become useful again, while the tea bowl shared its dreams of a Japanese tea ceremony. Will the children find a way to restore the dishes? Grandma's Lost Treasure by David Huerta is a compelling read for children from 3–4 and up.

In Grandma's Lost Treasure, David Huerta speaks about family heritage and its significance for the younger generation. The old dishes represent the part of family history that delights Kin and Sugi. Also, these cups and bowls are the link between generations. David tells his young readers how important and precious this connection is. Grandma's Lost Treasure boosts children's creativity, for Kin and Sugi try to repair the dishes in many different ways. The author even motivates children to be careful with the environment and never use more material than needed to perform the task. The story is informative and educational as David introduces the concept of Kintsugi in an inspirational and easy-to-understand manner. The author sparks children's imaginations with this magical and captivating story about ordinary things like broken cups and bowls. I liked the whimsical illustrations, the appealing writing style with a touch of humor, and the important conclusion at the end.