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WHERE ARE YOU GOING? TO SEE MY FRIEND! by Eric Carle

WHERE ARE YOU GOING? TO SEE MY FRIEND!

By Eric Carle (Author) , Kazuo Iwamura (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-439-41659-0
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

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)