[Author Biography]

Chih-Yuan Chen

Chen has enjoyed painting from the time he was small. At the age of 19, Chen became interested in illustration for children's stories. Much of his learning has come from life. The sense of dignity and security provided by his parents would prove to be the foundation for his later work in children's picture books. In these works, Chen transforms his experiences of growing up in hardship into realistic scenes that resonate with audiences around the globe. 

Book Review

Chen follows up a celebration of unlikely siblings in Guji Guji (2004) with an equally captivating look at an unusual friendship. As related in parallel split-page narratives, Artie the lion gets extensive instruction from his father in hunting yummy rabbits, while Julie the rabbit's father carefully trains her to escape fierce lions. Simultaneously venturing out into the wild, the two younglings stuff themselves on jellyberries, take refuge from a storm in the same cave and instantly bond. After a day of playing leaping and roaring games, the two return to their respective homes and relate to their befuddled parents a role-reversing bedtime story about making friends. The two new friends' meeting and play take place on traditional full pages, splitting again as they go their separate ways home--a nifty device. Though Julie's large, red spike heels strike an odd visual note, the pictures' soft hues and smiling, simply drawn cartoon animal figures score high on child appeal. A worthy addition to any "waging peace" list.