Kikko sets out after her father with a forgotten pie for Grandma. When she arrives at a strange house in the wintry woods, a peek in the window reveals that the footprints Kikko had been following did not belong to her father at all, but to a bear in a long coat and hat! Alice in Wonderland meets Little Red Riding Hood in this charmed tale.
With great delicacy and keen draftsmanship, Japanese artist Miyakoshi weaves fairy-tale elements into a dreamy and sometimes haunting story. In the manner of Little Red Riding Hood, Kikko sets off through the snowy woods to her grandmother's with the pie her father has forgotten; she spies him walking far ahead of her and follows him to a house she's never seen before. In a genuinely spooky scene, she peeps through the window to discover that the man in the hat and overcoat she has followed isn't her father it's an imposing bear in a three-piece suit. Kikko is ushered into the dining room, where an even more arresting spread reveals a tableful of formally dressed animals a boar, two stags, the bear, and many more who gaze at Kikko in wordless surprise. At that moment, the story shifts. "Please, come in and warm yourself," the animals say, greeting her with kindness. In the end, there's a new pie and a parade to Kikko's grandmother's house. The graceful proportions, atmospheric detail, and quiet, bewitching light of Miyakoshi's charcoals distinguish this small gem. Ages 3 7.