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Children's Fiction Friendship

Who's Next Door?

by (author) Mayuko Kishira

illustrated by Jun Takabatake

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Aug 2014
Friendship, Humorous Stories, Nocturnal
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2014
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


Chicken is thrilled when he finds out someone new has moved in next door. His quiet house deep in the woods can be lonely sometimes, and it would be so much fun to have a friend! But Chicken never catches so much as a glimpse of his neighbor, despite many days spent waiting, pacing, and knocking on his door. As it turns out, his neighbor, Owl, has been doing the same thing, yearning to meet Chicken – only he's been doing it at night. It's not until after the two exchange notes and mix up plans for a visit, each using his own definition of "tomorrow," that they meet fortuitously and find a creative way to enjoy each other's friendship despite their different schedules.
A comical look at nocturnal and diurnal creatures, this simple story explores the concept of opposites in a smart, subtly funny way. Kids and adults alike will have fun anticipating the punchline, hinted at through the mix of traditional and comic panel-style artwork. Who's Next Door? is a page-turner that will be a joy to read for the first or umpteenth time. Through its fun, heartfelt look at the anticipation that comes with new friendships, this book celebrates the fact that even those as different as night and day can form a special bond.

About the authors

MAYUKO KISHIRA was born in Osaka Prefecture. She studied picture book production in the postgraduate course of the International Academy Picture Book Program. She currently lives in Kyoto Prefecture.

Mayuko Kishira's profile page

JUN TAKABATAKE was born in Aichi Prefecture. He won the Graphics Award at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair for his work in Dare no jitensha (Froebel-Kan), the Japan Picture Book Award for Oh, Suppa (Kodansha, Author: Tamio Koshino), and the Kodansha Publishing Cultural Award for Futari no namakemono (Kodansha). He currently lives in Gifu Prefecture.

Jun Takabatake's profile page


  • Unknown, Toronto Public Library First and Best List

Excerpt: Who's Next Door? (by (author) Mayuko Kishira; illustrated by Jun Takabatake)

Deep in the woods, there are two houses.
Chicken lives in the house with the red roof.
No one lives in the house with the blue roof.
Chicken wakes up every morning at sunrise. He eats breakfast and reads the paper. He eats lunch and takes a nap.
He eats a snack and goes for a walk. He eats dinner and gets ready for bed. By sundown, Chicken is sound asleep.
One morning, Chicken steps outside – and what a surprise!
It looks like someone has moved in next door.

Editorial Reviews

"This [book presents] the kind of bafflement young readers will gratifyingly pick up right away; they will smugly feel they have the drop on Chicken and Owl."

Kirkus Reviews

"Will delight young readers and encourage written communication among friends."

Library Media Connection

"Warm and hospitable ... Children who may be moving to a new home will respond to the underlying moral that neighbors of all sorts can become fast friends."

School Library Journal

"Offers a playful introduction to the concept of nocturnal and diurnal animals, and listeners will likely enjoy figuring out the problem over the course of the story."

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Understated yet delightful ... practically vibrates with the excitement and nervousness that accompany new friendships, and the big reveal reminds readers both that not all birds are early birds and that solid friendships can bridge distance and time."

Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"Who's Next Door? is a simple, pleasant story... The illustrations are cute, colourful, simple, but effective."

Canadian Review of Materials