Friday, September 15, 2017

Kuma-Kuma Chan's Travels - a bookwrap


"Kuma-Kuma Chan's Travels"
created by Kazue Takahashi

Ages: 3-5
Publisher: Museyon 
October 1, 2017

Unwrapping some illustrations for you

Editorial Reviews

"The antidote for your overscheduled, hurried and harried child." —Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things

"Though it's the third book in the series, it stands alone, but it's a great reason to check out the other two. A delightful, engaging book for a broad audience, an effective form of stress reduction, and a catalyst for readers' own imaginary travels—all in an irresistibly wee package." —Vicky Smith, Kirkus Reviews

My Take

This is the third book in the Kuma-Kuma Chan series.  It has a wide fan base in Japan, especially appealing to young women, and is now spreading its wings to be enjoyed across Asia, Europe and North America.  

Kuma-Kuma Chan is a sweet adorable little bear (kuma means "bear" in Japanese) who lives all alone in the mountains.  Because of his isolation he loves to travel and explore the world ... well in his mind anyway.  

He envisions flying off to to a warm island where he can lay in the sun and nap... well in his head anyway.  He dreams of climbing to the top of a high mountain and watching the spectacular sunrise while sipping a cup of fresh-brewed coffee... well in his writing anyway.  He flies up in the sky like a bird,  time-travels back to before he was born to find out what animal he was in his previous life... but only in his creative mind.  His travel fantasies soothe and comfort him.

He is free to explore, visit and savour his trips to anywhere his psyche leads him.  He documents his various itineraries and sends them to his friend, who is narrating his story in messy, illegible handwriting, which frustrates the receiver.  Kuma-Kuma Chan's scribbled notes leaves the boy's own imagination open to interpret the little bear's travelling adventures.  

The friendly boy wishes him well wherever and whatever the little guy is up to and hopes one day to see his buddy one more time.  

The text is simple, the illustrations are soft, muted and uncluttered.  The mood is calm and peaceful.  The book encourages readers to explore their own imaginations and follow where their creative thinking takes them.  I highly recommend this book and the other books in the series. 

Storywraps Rating - 5 HUGS!!!!!

About the author/illustrator

Kazue Takahashi is a Japanese illustrator and children’s book author whose debut book Kuma-Kuma Chan was published in Japan in 2001. She has since authored several other books for children, including Kuma Chan on a Rainy Day (about a bear cub exploring a playground in the rain) and Nyaako Chan (about a stray kitten who strolls into a woman’s house). Takahashi has also contributed her illustrations to books by other authors. Her adorable characters and illustrations have been embraced by people of all ages.

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