Yumi and Grandma leave their separate houses to see each other at the same time, but they keep missing each other in this book first published in Japan in 1979 but only now being published in the United States.
Yumi decides she wants to visit Grandma at the same time Grandma decides to go see Yumi. They both leave their respective homes happy. While Yumi takes a bus alone, Grandma takes a train. When they arrive at their destinations, they realize their mix-up and head back to their homes. Yumi gets a ride in a truck with an adult and a cow, while Grandma takes a taxi. After missing each other again, Yumi takes a scooter and Grandma rides a motorcycle. They finally spot each other and decide to meet under a big tree. Gomi’s illustrations tell many details the text does not, placing Yumi’s home in a suburb and Grandma’s in a mountainous countryside. The simple backgrounds, painted in tans and browns, allow the characters (both brown-skinned) and modes of transportation to stand out on the page. The faces are simple, done in Gomi’s trademark style, but the emotions are conveyed clearly and add to both humor and meaning. American readers may be taken aback when they realize that Yumi travels alone on the bus, in a truck with an unidentified adult, and on her scooter, an independence that may be less remarkable in the author/illustrator’s Japanese culture.
A book of warmhearted mix-ups, good for learning types of transportation and emotions. (Picture book. 3-6)