Caren's Reviews > Taka-chan and I: A Dog's Journey to Japan by Runcible

Taka-chan and I by Betty Jean Lifton
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's review
Jun 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: children
Read in June, 2012

This is such a sweet, unusual book. It was originally published in 1967, but has been reissued by the New York Review Children's Collection (which I love, because it is a way to read quality books from years ago about which I would never have known). This book is a fable-like story illustrated with evocative black and white photographs. The story involves a Weimaramer dog with the unusual name of "Runcible" who digs a hole on a Cape Cod beach right through to a beach in Japan. There he encounters a little girl, Taka-chan, who is being held prisoner by a black dragon. When the two bravely confront the dragon to discover why she is being held captive, they learn that it is in retaliation for the fishermen in her village not honoring the dragons of the sea with offerings of rice balls and rice wine. This dragon sets them a task: they must find the most loyal creature in Japan before sunset that day and lay a white flower at its feet, or they will both be held captive forever. This is a timeless sort of story. If you love dogs or Japan or just good tales, you'll enjoy this book.
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