Book Review of 「つみきだいさくせん」 by Hiroyuki Arai

Japanese Title: つみきだいさくせん
English Title: Operation Rescue Blocks (Self-Translated)
Publisher:
金の星社
Author:
新井洋行 (あらいひろゆき)
Illustrator:
新井洋行 (あらいひろゆき)


Overall Impression and Summary:

Super cute book about a bunch of blocks working together to save a little block that is stuck up high on a dresser. Your kids will love the pull out page at the end that folds out to show the blocks finally reaching the poor, little crying block. There’s a great picture of this cute scene on the publisher’s website–click on the cover picture to see.Read More »

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Book Review of 「だっこ」 by Hiromi Nakano

Japanese Title: だっこ
English Title: Hold Me! (Self-Translated)
Publisher:
アリス館
Author:
なかの ひろみ、まつもと よしこ
Photos:
ネイチャー・プロダクション


Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a great book to teach your kids ordinal numbers from 1 to 10 in a fun, playful way. The book lists 10 animals and the different ways they hold their babies. Kids are sure to recognize most of the animals with the exception of the tern. (I didn’t even know that one in English.) Wonderful pictures and super-cute text.

I laughed to myself because a few of the photos in here are by Suzi Eszterhas, who took the pictures for an elephant book I reviewed.Read More »

Book Review of 「かさ さしてあげるね」 by Setsuko Hasegawa

Under the Umbrellas Book Cover


Japanese Title: かさ さしてあげるね
English Title: UNDER THE UMBRELLA… (Publisher’s Translation)
Publisher: 福音館書店
Author: はせがわ せつこ
Illustrator:にしまき かやこ


Overall Impression and Summary:

This is an adorable story about a little boy who walks through the rain giving umbrellas of various sizes to the animals getting rained on. The last two pages have no text–just animals basking in the rays of the sun. You can see a preview of the inside pages by clicking on the book cover.Read More »

Book Review of 「きょうの おやつは」 by Chinatsu Watanabe

kyou-no-oyatsuwa-english-review.jpg


Japanese Title: きょうの おやつは
English Title: It’s Snack Time –Mirror Reflection Makes a Story– (Publisher’s Translation)

Publisher: 福音館書店
Author: わたなべ ちなつ
Illustrator: わたなべ ちなつ


Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a fun mirror book about making pancakes. They have it set up so that some of the objects on the mirror are static (printed over the mirror), which is a really cool idea and adds a new dimension to the book. When you hold the book just right, it actually looks like the egg is falling into a 3-dimensional bowl and it actually looks like the pancake batter is falling into a 3-dimensional skillet. I love the picture of cat smelling the delicious aroma of the pancakes cooking. The publisher’s site has some pictures of the inside–click the book cover to see.Read More »

Book Review of 「かじをけす じどうしゃ」 by Mamoru Suzuki


Japanese Title: かじをけす じどうしゃ
English Title: Fire Extinguishing Vehicles (Self-Translated)
Publisher: 金の星社

Author: 鈴木まもる
Illustrator: 鈴木まもる


Overall Impression and Summary:

I loved the cover on this book when I saw it in the library. This is a great book for boys. It’s got lots of vocation specific vocabulary for firefighting that will leave you feeling like an expert. The story starts out with a little boy calling 119 (the fire department) to report a fire, which spreads and spreads. The book is filled with adventure that makes children wonder, “What will become of the fire?” “What vehicle will appear to help next?”Read More »

Review of 「こぐまちゃんと ぼーる」 by Ken Wakayama

kogumachan-to-booru-english-review


Japanese Title: こぐまちゃんと ぼーる
English Title: Little Bear and a Ball (Self-Translated)
Publisher: こぐま社
Author: わかやま けん、もり ひさし、わだ よしおみ
Illustrator: わかやま けん


Overall Impression and Summary:

Another great book by Koguma Publishing. Follow Little Bear as she throws around her cute orange ball. Filled with lots of enthusiasm, she accidentally tosses it far away and then can’t find it. Children are sure to relate to poor Little Bear as she cries in dismay. This book is a great way to take kids through the emotions of losing something you love and the happy ending makes this a classic book the whole family will enjoy reading again and again.Read More »

Review of 「ちいさな き」 by Toshiko Kanzawa

chisana-ki-english-review.jpg


Japanese Title: ちいさな き
English Title: LITTLE TREES (Publisher’s Translation)
Publisher: 福音館書店
Author: 神沢 利子(かんざわ としこ)
Illustrator: 高森 登志夫(たかもり としお)


Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a beautiful picture book that shows children how the little trees on the ground are really baby trees that originated from the big trees. I love the vibrant colors showing the changes of the seasons and the simple, repetitive dialogue that takes place between the narrator and the trees. One aspect of the story is finding the “hidden” baby trees among the other plants. The page with the little birch trees could be a bit challenging for small kids since there are quite a few plants on the page, but the other pages are pretty straightforward. The book retains an almost poetic tone throughout and is a pleasure to read.Read More »

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 「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 »