June 29, 2017


Earlier this month I hosted my picture book exchange on Instagram, and I was super excited to receive La visita de Conejito, created by Ko Okada and Chiaki Okada. This book is actually a Spanish translation of the Japanese Usagi-kun to Haru-chan, which is perfect for me since I can read Spanish, but I can't understand a lick of Japanese. So I get exposure to a super talented Japanese illustrator but with the added bonus of being able to understand the text of the story. It's the best of both worlds!

Bunny is the main character of this sleepy story about two friends getting to know each other. Bunny is an exchange student spending time with a human family that has a little girl named Nina. No matter what Nina does to make Bunny feel at home, though, Bunny remains sad and homesick. Until one day when Bunny's doll gets hurt and Nina fixes it. The two quickly bond and become best friends. When it's time for Bunny to go back home, Nina cries but Bunny reassures her that they'll be reunited soon.

You can immediately see why I fell in love with this book, right? The illustrations are atmospheric and quiet, encapsulating the feelings we read about in the text perfectly. We read about the distance between the two characters, but seeing it makes us feel it, too. We can understand just how homesick Bunny is and as readers we want to see that remedied. As the book goes on and the two get to know each other better, we see that distance between the two get smaller and smaller as they share physical space with each other. We can see Bunny loosening up and we feel better as he explores the world around him in his new surroundings.

So grateful to my LTPB Exchange partner for this beautiful book!

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