Kuma-Kuma Chan's Home

by Kazue Takahashi

Other authorsKazue Takahashi (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2016

Publication

Museyon (2016), 52 pages

Description

When a boy receives an invitation in the mail from Kuma-Kuma Chan, his friend who happens to be a bear, he travels by train, bus, and foot to reach Kuma-Kuma Chan's home. His friend welcomes him with 'bear tea', serves rice crackers and at the end of the day, a delicious salmon dinner. The two don't have a lot to talk about, but they spend the day sharing activities, eating delicious food, and experiencing the sense of belonging that comes from being with a good friend. When the boy leaves to catch the last bus home, both friends are enriched by the visit and look forward to the next one. Kuma-Kuma Chan's Home immerses children of all ages, as well as adults, in Kuma-Kuma Chan's peaceful, simple world, which will be sure to leave a smile on your face after the last page. AGES: 3 to 5 AUTHOR: Kazue Takahashi is a Japanese illustrator and children's book author whose debut book Kuma-Kuma Chan was published in Japan in 2001. She has since authored several other books for children and contributed her illustrations to books by other authors.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Following up on her initial book about Kuma-Kuma Chan, the Little Bear, Japanese artist and author Kazue Takahashi returns with this second contemplative look at the solitary bear. This time the narrator, rather than wondering what Kuma-Kuma Chan is up to, visits his friend for the day. Although not sure just what to say to each other at first, boy and bear eventually become more comfortable with one another by participating together in various social activities, from drinking tea to eating dinner.

First published in Japan in 2001, and then translated into English earlier this year (2016), Kuma-Kuma Chan's House has the same kind of gentle and non-linear narrative as Takahashi's first story about this ursine character. Not a lot happens here - it's more a list of things the narrator and Kuma-Kuma Chan do together, accompanied by simple artwork - but somehow it works. I especially appreciated the fact that these characters don't feel the need to fill every moment with frenetic activity and conversation, that they are willing to be quiet together in order to become better acquainted, as I think this sort of calmness in social interaction is something too frequently missing from American society. That said, although I appreciated the text here as much as that in the first, I didn't find the artwork quite as appealing, probably because I think Takahashi's minimalist approach works better with bears than people. The boy - and it's interesting that it is a boy, as I assumed in my reading of the first book that the narrator was female, perhaps because the author/artist is! - somehow isn't as visually convincing to me, as Kuma-Kuma Chan is. Still, this was a sweet little book, one I would recommend to anyone who enjoyed the first story about Kuma-Kuma Chan, as well as to anyone interested in Japanese children's books.
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LibraryThing member py34tt
This is a wonderfully simple, charming story about a boy visiting his bear friend's house. After spending three years in Japan, I am very partial to any and all references to its culture in children's books - my 4-year-old was born there and gets very excited to be told that he, too, embarked on the routes of trains, buses, and walking paths with us as a baby.

The illustrations in Kuma-Kuma Chan's Home are beautiful - their sparseness and simplicity sets a very calm, endearing mood. This is furthered by the fact that the story is, overall, remarkably uneventful. There is no sudden epiphany experienced by the main characters, there is no adversity to overcome, there is no exciting adventure to be had... there are just two friends enjoying each other's company in between sharing snacks/meals and on-and-off-again conversation. It's wonderfully, beautifully simplistic, and I cannot wait to ultimately add it to my kiddos' home library (I was given a digital copy via NetGalley for review purposes).
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LibraryThing member Carlathelibrarian
This is a book that is very simple. The story is a few sentences per page, the illustrations are small, muted and rather boring. The story talks about a boy traveling by train, bus and foot to visit Kuma Kuma, a small bear. They eat, drink tea and watch television before the boy returns home. Not much to hold a young child's attention.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Language

Original language

Japanese

Original publication date

2016-04-01

Physical description

52 p.; 5.25 inches

ISBN

1940842093 / 9781940842097
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