Book Review of 「どうぶつの赤ちゃんとおかあさん ゾウ」 by Saela Shobo

Japanese Title: どうぶつの赤ちゃんとおかあさん ゾウ
English Title: Eye on the Wild: Elephant (Originally in English)
スージー・エスターハス (Suzi Eszterhas)
Translator: 渋谷弘子

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a wonderful book for older kids who want to learn more about the life cycle of  elephants. Follow the young elephant as he grows up and then eventually goes out on his own. The photos are absolutely gorgeous and the various facts presented are sure to fascinate both parents and child. This would make for great independent reading for older elementary school kids. Click “Cover Coming Soon” to see a preview of the inside on the publisher’s website.

This is the 2nd in a series of 3 books, but I have yet to read the others.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 「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 »

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 「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 「みぢかなしぜん はな」 by Kanayo Sugiyama

Japanese Title: みぢかなしぜん はな
English Title: Familiar Flowers (Self-Translated)
Publisher: 教育画劇
Author: スギヤマ カナヨ
Photos:  大貫 茂

Overall Impression and Summary:

In a world full of false realities, it is nice to take a good look at the beautiful, real world around us. Looking at God’s beautiful creation of flowers and learning their names is a great way to get kids (and adults) excited to experience the world around them. This book features 59 big, gorgeous photos of beautiful flowers in Japan. When you stop to think that almost all the photos in this book were taken by one person (with the exception of 5 pages), you start to consider that maybe we should all take more time to stop and smell (and photograph) the roses every once in a while.Read More »

Book Review of 「おべんとうバス」 by Mariko Shinju

Japanese Title: おべんとうバス
English Title: Lunch Box Bus
Publisher: ひさかたチャイルド

Author: 真珠 まりこ (しんじゅ まりこ)
Illustrator: 真珠 まりこ (しんじゅ まりこ)

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a sweet book about a bunch of food loading themselves onto a bus. The book provides great talking points and it’s fun to make a bunch of different voices for all the characters. Kids who are familiar with Japanese food are sure to love this one.Read More »