I Say, You Say
Author: Wakiko Satō
Illustrator: Eigoro Futamata
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591005187
36 pages
22.0 x 24.8 cm / 8.8 x 9.9 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 3+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 1978
Awards: Japan Picture Book Award, 1978
Buy now: amazon.co.jp


The baby chick Pyo goes off to the woods to play. In the course of various adventures, she swaps voices with the animals she meets there, borrowing the voices of a mouse, a pig, a frog, and a dog, one after the other. When she finds herself attacked by a cat, Pyo just barks like a dog, and the cat, astonished, beats a hasty retreat. Finally, Pyo meets a turtle, then makes her way home.

In depicting the simple, everyday adventures of Pyo, who is cute and a little bit mischievous, Wakiko Sato brings a kind of realism to the realm of children's literature. Her pared-back, extremely short sentences blend well with the delicate pictures of Eigoro Futamata, who renders even background scenery in exquisite detail. As we turn the pages, the life of the forest unfolds before us.

The families of the animals that Pyo encounters are portrayed with a comical touch that will appeal even to very small children who are only starting to learn language. I Say, You Say has been a strong seller for over 30 years now and continues to win new readers. It is one of the finest of Japanese picture books, and has been passed down from parent to child for decades.
(Akira Nogami)