Instant classic! This is a simple tale, yet told so warmly and well, alongside such wonderful illustrations that it is really one of my favorite picture books in years. The painted illustrative style reminds me of one of my favorite series when I was a child, the classic “Harry the Dirty Dog” series. Yet OHora has updated his approach with more color, and a modern sensibility, while still offering a modest-yet-amazing story, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I love the neighborhood and apartment details, how the children notice important things that adults might well miss, how the children set out to make things rights, that it all works out due to their efforts, and the happy get-together of the interracial neighbors is a lovely touch, too. Wonderful book. I and my entire family are truly delighted.
My young children and I once stayed with some friends who had a business office downstairs. We stayed upstairs during much of the day. They were so proud of how quiet they were to not bother the workers and customers downstairs. And yet, after a few days, our friends complained to us how they couldn’t even hear our children, as they’d expected. It was a funny experience. So, we can all relate to this surprisingly wonderful book told with such an innovative approach. To back up, I write for online publications every day, and have for many years. I have the list-icle approach to article writing down-pat because lists, however difficult to write (well), can be so fun for readers.
And yet I never expected to find that a picture book would be so much fun when the story is couched in lists made by the children within the story. It’s so much fun to read. Both me, and my children, got entirely caught up in the reading experience — which makes checking the delightful illustrations, in turn, so much fun. So it was quite a surprise when reaching a twist in the story which leads to some surprisingly meaningful insights about “do unto others as you would have other do unto you,” and how that perspective leads to a happier and more understanding coexistence for us all. Fun, funny, engaging, and meaningful — a fantastic book.