I saw a mention of this book as a classic and since I'd never read it....
Handa puts 7 fruits in her basket for her friend. As she walks along, wondering what fruit her friend will like best and thinking about how surprised she will be, something mysterious is going on above her head! In the end, both Handa and her friend Akeyo are happily surprised.
This story definitely deserves classic status. The simple plot and the clever juxtaposition of what you see and what Handa is thinking are perfectly combined. Browne's art is colorful and has a warm, light-filled feeling. This one calls for multiple readings identifying fruit and animals, counting, and always a giggle at the surprise ending. The endpapers include a procession of fruit and animals for those stumped on identification.
Verdict: Highly recommended; there's a reason it's still in print!
ISBN: 978-0763608637; Published September 1999 by Candlewick; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library