Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Travel the World: Taiwan: Guji Guji

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen is a wonderful little picture book published by Kane/Miller. (Originally published in Taiwan, it was translated and published in America in 2004)

If you loved Lambert the Sheepish Lion, then you'll love Guji Guji. (If you haven't seen Lambert the Sheepish Lion, then chances are you'll love it anyway!!!) Guji Guji is about a crocoduck. It opens quite simply, "An egg was rolling on the ground. It rolled through the trees. It rolled across the meadow. It rolled all the way down the hill. Finally it rolled right into duck's nest." That egg is larger than the rest for a very special reason, as you can imagine, it is actually a crocodile egg and not a duck one. When it comes time for the eggs to hatch, the mother duck names each of her babies: Crayon, Zebra, Moonlight, and Guji Guji. The book shows him growing up alongside his siblings quite happily and merrily until one day when three bad crocodile show up to tell him that he doesn't belong. But Guji Guji knows something that they just can't understand: family isn't about genetics (or biology). It is so much more than that.

Guji Guji is just your ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill duck. . .um, crocodile. . .um, duck . . . In this engaging story about identity, loyalty, and what it really means to be a family, Guji Guji makes some pretty big decisions about who he is, what he is, and what it all means, anyway.


Melissa said...

Sounds charming. (Kind of like the Ugly Duckling but better.) I'll have to see if I can find it somewhere here...

Jeane said...

I loved Lambert! This one looks cute, too. It reminds me of a book I just read to my toddler called Flap Your Wings by PD Eastman. Have you seen that one? Charming.