A simple comedy of errors takes place when a chicken and an owl find their waking hours at odds.
“Deep in the woods, there are two houses. Chicken lives in the house with the red roof. No one lives in the house with the blue roof.” When Kishira talks red and blue, she means the kind of red and blue paints deployed in elementary school art classes circa 1958: saturated and primary as primary can be. (The houses, true to form, are lemon yellow, and Takabatake’s linework is good and wobbly.) When mail starts being delivered to the house with the blue roof, Chicken is stoked: “He enjoys living on his own, but sometimes he feels lonely.” Since no one answers the door, Chicken leaves a note, which is promptly responded to by Owl, the newcomer. Happy to make new friends, he writes that he will visit the next day. For Chicken, day is day, when the sun is out, but for Owl, day is night, when the moon is out. One is waiting, waiting, waiting; the other wonders if it is too early to drop in. This is the kind of bafflement young readers will gratifyingly pick up right away; they will smugly feel they have the drop on Chicken and Owl.
Chicken and Owl’s solution is ingenious and makes one wonder where the word “birdbrain” ever came from. (Picture book. 4-8)