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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling U.S. and Japanese authors Eric Carle and Kazuo Iwamura team up for a zippy bilingual celebration of friendship, culture, and fun.
Combining their art and languages to create a book that a reader can begin at either end and follow toward the middle, Carle and Iwamura take collaborative efforts to playful heights. Fundamentally, each author tells the same story, about a troupe of animals that have banded together to meet a human friend. Carle's English version begins in front with his welcoming cut-paper illustrations, and at its conclusion the animals meet up with a red-capped boy holding a guitar. Iwamura's Japanese version, illustrated with his gentle watercolors, begins in back and reads right to left, with a tambourine-playing girl being the animals' human pal. The boy and girl then meet in the center of the book. Their delighted exclamation -- "My friends have come. Now let's sing and dance!" -- leads to a magnificent fold-out extravaganza on friendship, bringing all the jubilant characters together as they "bow wow wow" and "meow meow meow" with glee.
In this sublime, multilevel book that's perfect for broadening any child's horizons, Carle and Iwamura are a magnificent match. Young readers will enjoy paging back and forth as they follow the correspondences between the English and Japanese versions, and they'll be smitten with the two different portrayals of the animals and scenery. Both well conceived and educational, this warmhearted read brings a far-distant land a little closer to home. Matt Warner