@@Shippo is a nonsense picture book created by Chô Shinta (1927- ). It first shows a tail of some animal, and then the full-length figure of the animal on the next page so that the reader can discover whose tail it is. The pattern is repeated again and again in the subsequent pages. Chôfs words are playful and the pictures cleverly show the characteristics of the animals. The size of the book is small, with large characters and a simple structure.
@@In the first scene, the left page have onomatopoeic words and a picture of a red tail on white background, while the right page is plain yellow. In the next scene, a green tree is drawn using both pages and a squirrel is climbing up the tree under a yellow umbrella. The words on the left side read gI am a squirrel.h In the following pages, the owner of the tail changes to a fox, a snake, a bear and finally a dog. On the last page a human hand appears with the words gBye bye bye bye good-bye.h Chôfs works often use repetition of simple patterns. However, almost always there is a device in the middle which contradicts readersf expectations, and one will find a joke at the end. In this case, a snake is arranged in the middle of the book, whose tail is difficult to tell. The hand of a human who has no tail is arranged at the end.
@@Chô was originally a creator of manga. He has produced several hundred works so far, including Goro Goro Nyan [Purr and Miaow] (1976) which is considered to be a monumental work in the history of the modern picture book. At first, he emphasized straight lines in his picture, then turned to curved lines, and finally to clear-colored two dimensional pictures. In the case of Shippo, a lionfs tail is drawn on the cover with tousled curves and the inside pages are drawn in two dimensional pictures, which indicates that it is a work of his transitional period. Chôfs free and unique idea is fully utilized in this book.