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Jojofu Hardcover – September 30, 1996
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3?Another story in the cherished tradition of misunderstood dogs who save their owners' lives. Here, the setting is medieval Japan, where Jojofu is the leader of Takumi's pack of hunting dogs. She saves her master from a rock fall, and from plunging down a cliff obscured by fog. Takumi is at first upset by her behavior and urges her to be like the other dogs. After the cliff episode, however, he promises always to have faith in her and only by remembering his promise does he avoid killing her when she growls and leaps menacingly toward him. Once again, Jojofu is proved right?a giant snake is about to attack the man. Ito's illustrations have the look of ancient Japanese scrolls while at the same time packing in plenty of child appeal. Beautifully yet simply, they create an almost mystical, rugged countryside. Jojofu is pictured as a charming white Shiba Inu-type dog with perky ears, curled tail, and jaunty carriage. She draws viewers' eyes into each double-page spread. Her fight with the snake is shown in a climactic and dramatic wordless illustration in which the snake seems almost about to burst out of the page, giving readers the feeling that they, too, are being saved by Jojofu's courage. With its sympathetic story of noble behavior misinterpreted and its exciting battle scene, Jojofu will be a hit in any story time and it might be compared to Robert San Souci's retelling of The Hobyahs (Doubleday, 1994) or the magic Welsh legend of "The Man Who Killed His Greyhound."?Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5^-7. In this story based on a Japanese folktale, a faithful hunting dog, Jojofu, protects his master, Takumi, during a hunting trip. The dog leads Takumi away from his usual path and into the forest to evade a landslide; later, Jojofu refuses to proceed in a deep fog, preventing his master from stepping off a cliff, and, finally, fights an enormous snake that threatens the hunter. Although Takumi doubts Jojofu's good sense in the beginning, he comes to appreciate his loyal friend, who becomes his "eyes and ears." Ito's traditional-style paintings complement the spirit of the text and lend an aura of timelessness to the story. Hues of blue and green figure prominently, providing a stark contrast to Jojofu's white coat. In addition, a white border at the top and bottom of each double-page spread gives the pleasing illusion of an extra-wide panel. A fine choice for story hours, this will also make a welcome addition to folklore units or studies of Japan. Kay Weisman