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 「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 「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 »