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Chirri & Chirra 

Region: East Asia, Japan

Author: Kaya Doi

Original Language: Japanese

Translator: Yuki Kaneko

Illustrator: Kaya Doi

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Descriptors: Animals, bicycles, forests, and friendship.

Age: 2-8 years old


Kaya Doi’s enchanting picture book Chirri and Chirra is the first installment of seven books that follow the adventures of two best friends. In book one, the girls venture into the forest and encounter many new places and friends. At the start, Chirri and Chirra wake to a beautiful, sun-shining day and decide to take a bicycle ride. They only stop when they smell the most delicious aromas coming from the Forest Cafe. Inside the cafe are tables and chairs of all different sizes. Their waiter, a fox, seats Chirri and Chirra at a table that is perfect for them. After a cup of acorn coffee, some blossom tea, and a great conversation with honey bees, the girls are on their way through the forest again. Soon they pass a forest bakery with dozens of sweet jams for them to choose from. The bakery serves a diverse clientele of bears, human girls, and rabbits-- no matter the customer, the bakery has a sweet treat just for them. As the day ends, the girls find the Forest Hotel, a wonderful place for any person or woodland creature to lay their heads down for the night. Throughout the story, Doi does an amazing job of weaving in magical elements like animals working at a coffee shop or selling jam in the forest. The anthropomorphism adds a charming component to an otherwise ordinary day for two friends. Additionally, it is worth mentioning the inclusiveness illustrated through the different sizes of tables, food, and even hotel doors to show that all creatures live together harmoniously. Chirri and Chirra themselves interact peacefully with rabbits and spiders alike. Furthermore, the soft illustrations and repetitiveness of the language make this a great book for younger audiences between the ages of two and eight years old. The original story was written in Japanese, and translated versions can be found in print for an English-speaking audience to enjoy.  

More About This Book

Reviewed: print book by Enchanted Lion Books (2016). ISBN ISBN 13: 9781592701995 40 p.

Reviewed by Raquel Martinez

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