Books by Kazuo Iwamura

GOOD-BYE, WINTER! HELLO, SPRING! by Kazuo Iwamura
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 5, 2019

"Sincere and serene, with masterful, atmospheric illustrations. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Three anthropomorphic squirrel siblings explore the diminishingly snowy landscape of their forest home in this picture book. Read full book review >
SEVEN LITTLE MICE HAVE FUN ON THE ICE by Haruo Yamashita
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Get the augur and poles ready—this is likely to have children clamoring to try their own hands at ice fishing. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Yamashita's septuplet mice are back, this time solving the problem of how to get their slip-cautious Mother to go ice fishing with them. Read full book review >
SEVEN LITTLE MICE GO TO SCHOOL by Haruo Yamashita
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2011

"Some students may jump on the train to act this out on the first day of school, but it lacks the humor that would give it lasting appeal. (Picture book. 3-5)"
This delicate Japanese import is less about assuaging school fears than about a tricky mother who gets her children to go to school against their many and varied protests. Read full book review >
BEDTIME IN THE FOREST by Kazuo Iwamura
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

Baby squirrels find unlikely new friends in their first non-seasonal outing (Hooray for Snow!, 2009, etc.). While frolicking on a tree branch one morning, squirrel siblings Mick, Mack and Molly spy an owl family sleeping inside the tree. Mama Owl wakes up long enough to tell them to come back at night if they want to play, and they do, even though their parents have warned them not to. There's fun for a while, but the squirrels soon tire and fall asleep. Luckily, Father and Mother have guessed what their children are up to and bring them home. Though playing together won't work for owl and squirrel children, Mick, Mack and Molly come up with a great idea: They make a mailbox so they can be pen pals with the owlets. Iwamura's adorable animals are well-matched by both his muted palette and his gentle story. Pleasantly reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, with the squirrels' little overalls and the domesticated woodland interiors, though the trim size is fairly conventional. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
HOORAY FOR SPRING! by Kazuo Iwamura
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2009

Red-squirrel triplets Mick, Mack and Molly, having thoroughly enjoyed winter in Hooray for Snow! (2008), return for a springtime outing through the branches. They observe caterpillars and bees dining on leaves and blossoms, respectively, and then find a hungry-looking baby bird. The tufty-eared sibs do their best to tempt the bird with pinecones and cherry blossoms, to no avail. Iwamura places his characters in a softly green-and-pink setting, his delicate outlines bringing out gentle humor, especially as the bird rebuffs the squirrels' offerings with evident disgust. The tale ends with something of a soft thud, as mother bird arrives with a worm and the squirrels describe the adventure to their parents, but it makes for a sweet seasonal diversion nevertheless. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
HOORAY FOR SNOW! by Kazuo Iwamura
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

When squirrel triplets Mick, Mack and Molly wake up to a fresh snowfall, they want to do what any red-blooded rodent child would: go sledding. Papa's significantly less enthusiastic, but he bundles up reluctantly to help get them going. A few trips up and down the sledding hill, however, warms him right up—enough to decide to drag a chilly Mama out to join in the fun. Iwamura's precise, fine lines and delicate watercolors conjure a wintry forest and blue-, pink- and yellow-clad kits just enough this side of cute to make this outing an entirely refreshing romp in the snow. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
WHERE ARE YOU GOING? TO SEE MY FRIEND! by Eric Carle
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2003

A unique venture between two friends, who happen to be famous artists. In a simple cumulative tale of friendship, a dog, a cat, a rooster, a goat, a rabbit, and a child repeatedly pose the question and answer of the title. What makes this book singular is that Carle's characters are marching along from front to back, left to right, in typical Western style. At the middle, the story is joined in a broad open-out, four-page spread by Iwamura's story that is a mirror image of Carle's, the exception being that the child in Carle's story is a boy and Iwamura's is a girl. The boy and girl greet each other with hands extended in symbolic greeting. This works ingeniously because the Iwamura story is told from back to front and right to left as is typical of Japanese books. When the Carle characters and the Iwamura characters meet in the middle, they merge and mingle in a merry frolic. Carle's figures are created with his recognizably bold collage technique. Iwamura's sweet-faced, gently rounded figures are painted in soft watercolors that contrast nicely with Carle's more vibrant palette. Carle's text is in English, while Iwamura's is written in Japanese characters accompanied by a pronunciation guide. Short, informative essays by Carle and Iwamura, which describe their collaboration, are printed inside the book jacket, which may, unfortunately, render them inaccessible to library patrons. Since Japanese animal sounds have an interesting onomatopoetic difference from our own, while Westerners would need to rehearse to give the Japanese story a lively cadence that would hold the attention of the youngest listeners, this would make a wonderful opportunity for tandem reading in a bilingual story time. This will be especially welcome in communities with a Japanese population. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >