Book Review of 「おままごと」 by Emiko Sunayama

Japanese Title: おままごと
English Title: Pretending to Be Mommy (Self-Translated)
Publisher: こぐま社
Author: 砂山恵美子(すなやま えみこ)
Illustrator: 砂山恵美子(すなやま えみこ)

Overall Impression and Summary:

If you have little girls in your home, this book is sure to get your attention right away. The story follows a cute little girl who uses various outdoor objects to make food for her little stuffed pig’s birthday. At the end of the book she makes 3 little sand cakes, but trips and falls, which ruins them. She cries, but then comes up with a great idea to fix it. The story is priceless and your kids are sure to love it.Read More »


Book Review of 「ぱん だいすき」 by Kiyoshi Soya

Japanese Title: ぱん だいすき
English Title: OUR FAVORITE BREADS (Publisher’s Translation)
Publisher: 福音館書店
Author: 征矢 清(そや きよし)
Illustrator: ふくしま あきえ

Overall Impression and Summary:

The pictures in this book are absolutely stunning. You can almost smell the bread as the author entices you with the various delicious breads typically sold in Japanese bakeries. The first two pages show a shot of the inside of a bakery and over 20 different kinds of bread for sale. The book is shown from the perspective of someone choosing which breads they will buy from a bakery. At the end of the book, they sit down at a perfectly set table to eat their selections. Because they don’t show you the person buying everything, it makes it that much easier to insert yourself into the story. Read More »

Book Review of 「いない いない ばあ」 by Miyoko Matsutani

6 Million+ Copies (As of 2017)

Japanese Title: いない いない ばあ
English Title: Peek-a-Boo
Publisher: 童心社
Author: 松谷 みよ子
Illustrator: 瀬川 康男

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a straightforward peek-a-boo book that all kids are sure to love. Each animal covers their eyes on one page and then has outstretched arms with big, wide-open eyes on the next. The last two pages are a cute little girl named Non-chan, with cute, beady little eyes and a blue dress with stars. As with most all baby books, the genius is in the simplicity.Read More »

Book Review of 「よしよしなでなで」 by Mari Tokunaga

There There Pat Pat English Review

Japanese Title: よしよしなでなで
English Title: There, There, Pat, Pat (Self-Translated)
Publisher: アリス館
Author: とくなが まり
Illustrator: いりやま さとし

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a beautiful book about a little girl named Nana listening to her little baby brother sleep. Like all toddlers, she is curious and starts to touch the chubby baby a little too much, which wakes him up. They both cry and then mommy comes to the rescue. The story is simple enough and big kids are sure to relate.Read More »

Book Review of 「とりをよぼう!」 by Hisakata Child

Japanese Title: とりをよぼう!
English Title: Let’s Call the Birds (Self-Translated)
Publisher: ひさかたチャイルド
Editor: おおくぼ しげのり
Photos: 川又利彦 榎本功
Illustrator: ひや まゆみ

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is an amazingly well put together book that teaches kids how to feed birds in their backyard (or on the veranda). The photos are absolutely stunning and the editor went to great lengths to make sure each page is perfect. The book shows you all the birds that most commonly show up to eat and the different foods you can use to attract them. I love the photo of the little boy in the beginning of the book with his big, bright smile ready to feed the birds. Very cute. Toward the end of the book, they show you all the birds seen at the bird feeder and a few more. They adjusted each bird’s photo so you can see the difference in size, which is really nice.Read More »

Book Review of 「すきすき どうぶつ」 by Mitsuhiko Imamori

Animal Love English Review

Japanese Title: すきすき どうぶつ
English Title: Animal Love (Self-Translated)
Publisher: 童心社
Author: 今森 光彦(いまもり みつひこ)
Illustrator: 今森 洋輔(いまもり ようすけ)

Overall Impression and Summary:

The illustrations in this book are just gorgeous! Everything looks so life-like and every page is carefully drawn for maximum impact. My favorite picture in the book is the chipmunk with his cheeks stuffed full of food. The book does not have a set plot but simply contains random comments about the things animals like and the things they do, which of course kids want to know.Read More »

Book Review of 「おーくん おんぶ」 by Ken Katayama

Japanese Title: おーくん おんぶ
English Title: HE LOVES CARRYING STUFFED DOLLS ON HIS BACK (Publisher’s Translation)
Publisher: 福音館書店
Author: かたやま けん
Illustrator: かたやま けん

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a really cute book. The story starts out with little Oh-kun asking his mom, “Oh-kun piggyback!” The mother misunderstands that he wants to be picked up, when in reality, he wants to pick up all his animals and put them on his back, but needs help to do so. The mom straps all the toys to his back and then he falls down. (The mom’s face is not shown in the book.) Read More »

Book Review of 「しろくまちゃんのほっとけーき」 by Ken Wakayama

Almost 3 Million Copies (As of August 2017)

Japanese Title: しろくまちゃんのほっとけーき
English Title: White Bear’s Pancakes (Self-Translated)
Publisher: こぐま社
Author: わかやま けん
Illustrator: わかやま けん

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is cute book about a little white bear that makes pancakes. She starts out making the pancakes on her own, but then the mom comes to help. Once they are finished making the pancakes, little white bear calls her friend and they eat together. The pictures are drawn simply and the expression on the animals’ faces do not change throughout the book. This can be annoying at first, but once you realize that makes the animals more like the real stuffed toys your kids play with in real life, it’s actually brilliant.Read More »