“Dring-dring, dring-dring!” Chirri and Chirra’s bicycle bells summon readers on another serene adventure.
This fifth book about the imperturbable bicycle-riding youngsters is something of a departure for the Japanese series, taking them into the human landscape of a nearby town instead of a tiny, fantastical one in surrounding nature. But that doesn’t make it any less adorable. A shop of yarn and thread “in every color!” offers the same visually detailed satisfaction as did earlier outings to a moles’ peanut farm (Chirri & Chirra Underground, 2019) or a bumblebees’ kitchen (Chirri & Chirra in the Tall Grass, 2017). The children each pick two balls of yarn and bicycle to a weaver’s, where they fall asleep as their yarn is woven into scarves. Following the faint sound of their names, they bicycle to “a beautiful house,” where they are welcomed in for soup. Lest children fear that the wee adventurers have become terribly prosaic, in the house’s garden they find parent birds who welcome them to a party celebrating their new babies. There is no danger in Chirri and Chirra’s world—just welcome and delight. Doi employs her characteristic smudgy style, rounded, flowing shapes surrounded by soft borders of white that reinforce the cozy feel. Most shops’ signs display Japanese characters, but the town’s denizens exhibit a variety of racial presentations; the protagonists have pale skin, rosy cheeks, black pageboys, and blue dot eyes.
Darling. (Picture book. 3-7)