He Made Me Want to Hurry Home

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He Made Me Want to Hurry Home
Author: Yūichi Kimura
Illustrator: Tsūga Takeuchi
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591155127
32 pages
21.4 x 25.7 cm / 6.4 x 8.0 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 3+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2017
www.poplar.co.jp
Buy now: amazon.co.jp

Synopsis

Daddy Wildcat is on his way home to his wife and son, thinking with great satisfaction about how much his son admires him, when he spots a tasty-looking mouse trying to make himself scarce. Licking his chops, he is about to pounce, when the little creature cries out with great bravado, “I’m not scared of you!” and declares that if the wildcat tries to eat him, “My daddy will teach you a lesson!” As the wildcat scoffs that a mouse’s father is still just a mouse, Daddy Mouse appears. He looks ineffectual and weak compared to the wildcat, but he boldly steps between the boy and the fierce beast, brandishing a small stick in front of him. Even though the tip of the stick is trembling noticeably, the wildcat finds himself identifying with Daddy Mouse’s desire to protect his son. When Daddy Mouse finally screws up his courage and takes a swing at him, the stick barely pricks his toe, but the wildcat lets out an exaggerated yelp and takes to his heels. As he races away, Daddy Wildcat says to himself, “He made me want to hurry home and see my son.”

The spare dialogue and the bold and vibrant artwork exquisitely express the unevenness of the contest between the two fathers, as well as the emotional progressions they each go through during the face-off. The younger mouse’s confidence in his father, briefly shaken when he see the stick quavering, is reaffirmed when the wildcat turns tail. Both fathers’ great love for their sons comes through loud and clear despite their sharply contrasting circumstances.