Japan follows the same animal calendar as the Chinese, with the difference being that the Japanese New Year starts on Jan. 1. Many people have small displays of animals that represent the year. I give my mom a small display animal every year, and I always try to find the cutest ones. I like the squat fat ones that look like they would be squishy. If I could actually find squishy ones that would be better, but beggars can't be choosers and all that!
We read Chicken, Pig, Cow by Ruth Ohi (CAN, JP, US), and I was reminded of my mom's collection. Ohi's characters are also members of the Eastern zodiac, so I can totally see them bouncing over to my mom's house and hanging with her collection now that they have conquered their own home.
This book is apparently the start of the series, and I can see how these 3 characters became so beloved multiple sequels were necessitated. Chicken, Pig, and Cow are not only adorable, they each have a distinct personality. These three are brave enough to go on an adventure outside of the barn their child has made with popsicle sticks, and meet a new friend in the process.
This is the 10th book I read for the 5th Canadian Book Challenge.