________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 24 . . . . February 27, 2015


Who’s Next Door?

Mayuko Kishira. Illustrated by Jun Takabatake.
Translated by Shana Rieko Shimizu.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2014.
32 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-77147-071-1.

Subject Headings:
Chickens-Juvenile fiction.
Owls-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Rebecca King.

**½ /4


Deep in the woods, there are two houses.
Chicken lives on the house with the red roof.
No one lives on the house with the blue roof.



Chicken has an organized daily schedule: rising at sunrise, meals, exercise, reading the paper, in bed asleep by sundown. He is content with his life but excited when he believes someone has moved in next door. After several days of missing each other, the new neighbour, Owl, and Chicken exchange notes. Chicken stays up a little late, and Owl gets up a little early, and they finally meet. They are delighted to be neighbours and continue their relationship with messages on a blackboard between their houses.

Chicken and Owl don’t get to see each other very often, but they talk to each other all the time!

     Who’s Next Door? is a simple, pleasant story that pleased my six-year-old grandson, though it did not inspire multiple readings.

     The text is simple and direct, using short sentences. The author and illustrator obviously worked closely together because many of the significant parallels of the lives of Chicken and Owl are more demonstrated in the illustrations than the text. The illustrations are cute, colourful, simple but effective. They are appropriate to the simple nature of the story. There is a nice use of repetition in the illustrations.

     Though Who’s Next Door? is published by Owlkids Books, both the author and illustrator are Japanese living and working in Japan.


Rebecca King retired in July 2014 with 25 years of service as a Library Support Specialist with the Halifax Regional School Board.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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