Beginning in 1958, Shinta Cho, who began his career as a cartoonist, created more than 400 picture books over the course of his lifetime and gave birth to a new genre of picture books in Japan called “nonsense picture books.”
Pontaro, the protagonist of Pontaro, the Boy with a Bouncy Head is a boy whose head is made of rubber. Throughout his journey, Pontaro’s head bounces like a ball, against a mountain and the horn on a giant’s head, and is used as a volleyball by trees in a jungle. The far-fetched characters and situations, along with the shambolic plot developments make us wonder what kind of world resides inside the artist’s head. Cho’s picture books transcend common sense and betray readers’ expectations, delighting children while liberating adults who feel bound by common sense. Besides comics and picture books, the artist also made use of his wide talents through the writing of essays and stories for children.