Book Review of 「生き物たちの冬ごし図鑑 昆虫」 by CHOUBUNSHA PUBLISHING


Japanese Title: 生き物たちの冬ごし図鑑 昆虫(いきものたちのふゆごしずかん こんちゅう)
English Title: Wintering Creatures Illustrated Reference Book – Insects (Self-Translated)
Publisher:
汐文社
Author:
輝行
Photos:
星 輝行


Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a fantastic little reference book for learning about some of the bugs you see around you while living in Japan. You’ll learn specific names for various butterflies, moths, mantises, and many more. It’s really fascinating to learn what bugs are up to during the winter months. Everything is put together really well to help you take it all in. The life cycle of each bug is laid out in an easy-to-understand format and you can feel the author’s enthusiasm for bugs on every page.Read More »

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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)
Publisher:
さ・え・ら書房
Author:
スージー・エスターハス (Suzi Eszterhas)
Editor:
成島悦雄
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 「うんどうの絵本 – かけっこ」 by Akane Shobo Publishing


Japanese Title: うんどうの絵本 – かけっこ
English Title: Exercise Picture Book: The Race (Self-Translated)
Publisher: あかね書房
Editor: 西薗 一也(にしぞの かずや)
Illustrator: 左藤 芳美(さとう よしみ)


 

Overall Impression and Summary:

This book is sure to please your elementary school boys out there. The story is told from the perspective of a boy named Kakeru at his school’s Sport’s Festival when his turn comes to race. Once the story starts with Kakeru standing there, nervous, and sweating, ready to run the race, the reader is taken through a series of flashbacks which show all the work he had to do to prepare for the moment. The book transitions from flashback to the real race back to flashback until the end of the race. I love that they tell kids to keep running their best until the very end of the race no matter what. The book has lots and lots of tips for young runners to make sure they don’t hurt themselves while racing. Some of the tips made me laugh like “using your bum to walk” (おしり歩き), which entails sitting on the floor and then using your bum muscles to “walk” ahead.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 「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 »