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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)
Chirri & Chirra: The Rainy Day
by Kaya Doi
Age Range: Under_5
“Dring-dring, dring-dring! It’s already starting to rain.” For Chirri and Chirra, taking a raincheck on any magical excursions for the day is unthinkable; they celebrate a rainy day, complete with cafés only open on days when it rains, rain that falls upside-down, and balloon-sized gummy gumdrops. David Boyd fruitfully translates Japanese author Kaya Doi’s fantastical story of two children’s adventure out and about via bicycle in the seventh volume of the ‘Chirri & Chirra’ series, Chirri & Chirra, The Rainy Day.
Upon drinking tea in ‘Café Umbrella,’ the two characters admire painting-covered walls, only to realise the paintings are actually framed windows to the imagery of rain falling outside. Just as Chirri and Chirra perceive nature as beautiful art in this scene, the whole story is packed with exciting, magical imagery that will keep any young reader on their toes and ready to embrace their next rainy day. Across the panoramic 6.5-inch-tall and 18-inch-wide book, the drawn portrayal of the two characters seems almost doll-like, with their rosy cheeks and red and blue rain jackets, biking into a colour-pencil-sketched soft, welcoming world that defies gravity.
Catherine Hurwitz (Oct 2021)