Even after eleven volumes, Azuma-sensei still manages to impress me with his keen ability to perfectly capture the wonder and innocence of childhood. Further, it is amazing to me how many things are just so relatable despite the series being set in Japan. I guess there are just certain common things that happen in childhood that we can all relate too. ^_^
For example, take Yotsuba's pizza experience. I recall being about five or so with my parents on a weekend trip to my grandparent's place. My aunt was still living at home at the time and she made spaghetti for the first time. She was most pleased to see her nephew scarf it down like there was no tomorrow, but as expected when one overeats, I had to make a fast trip out the back door, where I barfed on the steps. As such, I laughed at the outcome of what happened to Yotsuba. Oddly enough, as a kid, I didn't care much for pizza.
Of course, the bubble set of Yanda's is something easily relatable since I had one myself (though mine didn't have the giant bubble maker). Still, watching everyone doing bubbles made me think, "Hmmmm. It won't be the same, but it might be fun to play bubbles once again, just for old time's sake." ^_~
Regarding Yotstuba's experience with the broken teddy bear, again, I was there with her, only I was remembering when I "broke" the huge firetruck I had as a kid. I remember feeling so sick about it, especially since I hadn't had it for more than a day or so (it was a Christmas gift), and my Dad had fun at my expense, knowing it really wasn't broken, but allowing me to think that it was. So yeah, I could relate to Yotsuba's depression and her elation when everything turned out OK.
The only bad thing about Yotsuba&! is that everytime I pick up the darned thing for purposes of helping me write this piece, I end up re-reading chapters, story-arcs, or even the entire manga. Well, that's just the kind of awesome goodness that is Yotsbua&!
On the Yen Press side of things, the Japanese honorifics are there, as usual. (YAY!) Also as usual, no translator notes section, but there are occasional blurbs between panels.
Bottom line: If you aren't reading Yotsuba&!, you really are missing out on some good, clean, wholesome, fun entertainment, which in light how how dark things in the world seem, its nice to have something like this to take away the gloom, even if only for a bit.