Text : Amei To 唐亜明
Art : Jun Takabatake 高畠純
Published : 2021
Personal Recommendation : 5 years old and older
This is the picture book which has been just recently published. (Artist Mr Takabatake’s work has been reviewed in the past. #1, #2 and #3) Yet, the storyline of this book is quite interesting as it actually “confuses” you (in a good way)from the beginning. As I read the title of this book, I thought the story is about girl (main character) and Panda’s friendship or some sort. When I had read half of story in this book, my mind was like “Are there any Panda appearance in this book at all? Is Panda playing important role at all??? ” Then, when I was reading 2nd half of this book, my mind was like “Can somebody explain how and where this Panda came from???” Interested, huh? Let’s take a look at this book’s storyline.
- Parents gave Little Girl named Kana (main character) a giant stuffed-animal Panda, she named this Panda “PANPAN”.
- One day, it was snowing outside and Kana and her friends were trying to make snowman
- Kana managed to make one Snowman and uses oranges as eyes and apple as a mouth of snowman. She put her neck-scarf around Snowman’s neck.
- Kana left the playground, leaving her snowman as-is. Under heavy snow storm, Snowman was almost losing his balance and barely standing under harsh weather. The, snowman decided to walk toward Kana’s house.
- Snowman knocked Kana’s room window from outside. Nobody but Panda realized and opened the door to let the snowman in. (Kana was still sleeping) Apparently, strong storm wind made Snowman want to escape to quieter place and he came to Kana’s house.
- PANPAN suggested Snowman to go outside once all the snow-storm is gone. Under this promise, he let the snowman stay inside the Kana’s room.
- Next day, Kana found her room floor was soaking wet as it appears Snowman had been melted. Her friends came outside but realized snowman on the ground was completely disappeared from its original spot.
- On that night, PANPAN was trying to make new snowman while people were sleeping at night. He continued to fail making the snowman a few times but he finally made one big snowman and wrapped Kana’s scarf around the neck.
- Kana got a hunch and talked to PANPAN “(I am not sure if you can hear me but) Did you make snowman?” PANPAN did not respond (staying still) as he is stuffed-animal to Kana, but he wriggled his eyebrow as if saying “yeah”.
- Time passed by and Spring came. PANPAN and Kana are playing grass-sled in the field together, as nobody but Kana knows PANPAN can speak (and he only speaks when he was alone with Kana only) and this remains secret between them. (End of story)
I believe Author intentionally skipped all those background details, so that kids can connect each dots or even came up with their own story to fill in those ambiguity in the story. For example, I can come up with several questions instantly. (1) How come Panda could get to speak? (2) What made Snowman capable of walking to Kana’s house? (3) How did Kana get to know that PANPAN was indeed “talking” Panda ? and How could they stay as friends even after Kana knows it wasn’t stuffed animal? Those can be great questions for debate competition with small readers. (nobody is correct or wrong in this case though) Since it requires some skill to comprehend the whole storyline by connecting dots, I am setting the age recommendation from 5 years and older in order to fully enjoy its complexity.
You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら
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