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One Stormy Night    by Yuichi Kimura & Hiroshi Abe order for
One Stormy Night
by Yuichi Kimura
Order:  USA  Can
Kodansha International, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

One Stormy Night is the first in a new series for kids by Japanese prize-winning author Yuichi Kimura. Though childlike, Hiroshi Abe's illustrations have a sense of flow to them, a feeling of movement from one to the next. The text font is smaller than the N. American norm for picture books, but readable.

It's the tale of an unlikely friendship that develops from a meeting on a stormy (and very dark) night when two animals cannot see each other to judge by appearances. They are 'a little white goat' and ... a limping 'wolf with very sharp teeth - and, what's more, a great fondness for goat's meat', who both take shelter from a 'wild, blustery storm' in a tumbledown hut.

The little goat assumes he's with another of his kind, and is relieved to have company, as is his companion. They've both caught colds that prevent each from sniffing out the other's nature. They're very hungry and the conversation skirts around danger (at least for the goat) as they discover all that they have in common. Will the wolf find out what his companion is before the night ends and enjoy goat for his breakfast?

Kids will love the suspense of One Stormy Night, while adults will appreciate the underlying layers of a modern fable that can be used to explore the impact of appearance on how we react to each other, the danger of making assumptions, and the possibilities of friendship.

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