In our house, some days we eat with chopsticks and some days we eat with knives and forks. For me, it's natural."" So begins--in Say's precise, pastel-toned drawings too--the story of the little-girl narrator's parents, ""a Japanese schoolgirl"" and ""an American sailor"" when they met. Though they go for many a walk, he is afraid to invite her to dinner, because he doesn't know how to eat with chopsticks--while she thinks he doesn't invite her because she can't eat with knife and fork. Then, with his ship about to leave Japan and marriage in mind (but ""I don't even know if we like the same food""), he goes to a Japanese restaurant to practice with chopsticks. On his invitation the next day, she seeks out a great-uncle who has visited England, and who takes her to a Western restaurant to practice with knife and fork. What shall their first meal together be? Because she's in Western dress, mashed potatoes, roast beef, and peas--which she impresses him by eating cleverly. . . in English, not American style. In another nice twist, the very last illustration--""In our house, some days we eat with knives and forks. . .""--is the converse of the first. A graceful, beguiling book.