Book Review of 「じゃあじゃあ びりびり」 by Noriko Matsui

2 Million+ Copies (As of 2015)


Japanese Title: じゃあじゃあ びりびり
English Title: Gush, Gush, Rip, Rip (Self-Translated)
Publisher: 偕成社
Author: まつい のりこ
Illustrator: まつい のりこ


Overall Impression and Summary:

This is an excellent book for babies that relates familiar things with the sounds they make. Babies will be thrilled to hear the sound that relates to animals, railroad crossings, babies, and more. The book starts out with space for you to write “This book belongs to _____” and ends with the back cover saying, “The end. See you again.” As always, the beauty is in the simplicity.Read More »

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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 「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 「あかあかくろくろ」 by Akio Kashiwara

Aka Aka Kuro Kuro English Review


Japanese Title: あかあかくろくろ
English Title: Red, Red, White, White (Self-Translated)
Publisher: 学研

Author: 柏原 晃夫(かっしー)
Illustrator: 
柏原 晃夫(かっしー)


Overall Impression and Summary:

This is another great book that kids will love. The whole book is contrasting colors of red, white, and black with a few splashes of other colors thrown in. Supposedly this is easier for kids as young as 6 months to see well, but I can’t vouch as to whether that’s accurate or not. There are no all-out complete sentences in here, so if you’re looking for more grown-up stuff, this book isn’t the way to go. There’s not a whole lot of vocabulary to work with but I love the pictures. Read More »