In a green roofed house covered in ivy, at the end of a red and blue brick walk, three animals and their friend have fun and magical adventures that can only be found in the simple pleasures of the every day. Put down that book, pull up a sunbeam and cookie, and rediscover the joy that can be found in One Fine Day.
One Fine Day Volume 1
Yen Press; January 2010, ISBN: 978-0-7595-3056-0
168 pgs., $10.99
One Fine Day is an all ages title from Yen Press, and one of their few offerings. It’s a manhwa, or a Korean comic, and is a slice of life title. It follows the everyday adventures of novice magician No-ah Fineday and his three pets; Nanai the dog, Guru the cat and Rang the mouse.
The characters are very likable. Nanai, the dog, is serious and studious. He loves to read. Guru, the cat, loves to go out in the rain and picking fights with Nanai. Rang, the mouse, is the little girl of the group, who loves sweets. These three are like siblings, playing, fighting, and taking care of each other. No-ah is a kind and gentle man, with a great deal of patience. All together they make a happy family.
Each chapter shows the four friends doing normal, everyday things, such as laundry, going to the pharmacy, going on a picnic, and working a part-time job. What makes reading about these mundane tasks fun is the way the animals get through them. Nanai and Guru have a harrowing experience going to the pharmacy by themselves and all three enjoy a picnic with No-ah dead tired from working so much. Because Nanai, Guru and Rang are animals, they see things differently, sometimes very innocently. Nanai and Guru try to be helpful and responsible by going to the pharmacy by themselves to get medicine for No-ah, but it’s Rang who saves the day, by thinking about how the medicine might feel.
The animals all appear in a human form most of the time, but when they are doing chores or going outside, they appear and are still limited by, their animal form. Guru can fold laundry neatly because of his nimble cat form. He does a series of acrobatic flips to get it all right. Nanai, who’s not so nimble, fumbles with the task more. And poor, small Rang need help reaching the cabinets to put the towels away. So the animal forms aren’t just a gimmick. They still are a dog, cat, and mouse, no matter their outward appearance.
The stories are cute and fun to read. “Cookie-Baking Day” is about Nanai, Guru and Rang using their paws as cookie cutters. “Snowy, Snowy Day” has the housemates cleaning up the attic to have a party with the fairies of the antique furniture stored in it. Both boys and girls can enjoy them as they are neither too cute nor too action packed. There is no violence to speak of. Nanai and Guru do have their disagreements, as one would expect from a dog and cat, but there’s really nothing objectionable at all in the volume.
The art has a unique look to it, especially No-ah and his squiggly hair, but it fits in with the stories. It’s cute, but in a way anyone can appreciate. Magical and fun, One Fine Day is fun reminder of what it was like to discover the joy in everyday things. It’s a great title to add to an elementary or middle school library.
This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Yen Press.