Adopting a Japanese folk tale into casual, readable English, Uchida brings us an entertaining tale, reminiscent of Will and Nicolas' Finders Keepers, brought to vibrant life by Zemach's glowing watercolors in an updated style suggestive of Japanese landscape painting and inhabited by delightful animals. A big cat, Daizo, and a little cat, Suki, have their tempers frayed by unsuccessful hunting, but discover two rice cakes lying on their path. They argue noisily over who gets the larger cake, and on the advice of a kimono-clad badger they consult the wise monkey of the mountain. The monkey solves their problem by eating from each cake in an attempt to make them equal. Naturally, both cakes disappear, and the cats are shamed by their foolishness. Children will delight in the illustrations, finding amusing details such as the monkey's teapot and the dancing mice. The book could also serve as a fine introduction to the Japanese arts of brush and watercolor painting.