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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
A Good Home for Max
by Junzo Terada
Age Range: Under_5
In a little shop in a little town lives a little mouse called Tabi. He is a very conscientious mouse; each night he tidies the shop, puts out new stock and plays with his animal friends. But when Tabi’s best friend Max the dog doesn’t find a good home, Tabi realises that he has to do something about it.
Japanese illustrator and designer Junzo Terada created this charming picture book in 2005 and it has now been translated into English for a whole new audience to enjoy.
The unusual illustrations have a real retro feel of advertisements from a bygone age inspired by an Art Nouveau style with their vibrant but muted palette of faded colours. There are appealing patterns and colourful motifs with such attention to detail and the animals and toys have expressive faces that capture their mood. Although there is no mention of where the story is located all the items in the shop are labelled in French - ‘lait’, ‘fromage’ ‘confiture marmelade’ ‘balle’. It is a shop that entices you in to sample its wears. Terada’s heart-warming tale about the importance of friendship and a sense of belonging has been beautifully executed.