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 「はなさかじいさん」 by Yoko Imoto


Japanese Title: はなさかじいさん
English Title: Grandpa Flower Bloom (Publisher’s Translation)
Publisher: 岩崎書店

Author: いもとようこ
Illustrator: いもとようこ

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is one of my all-time favorite Japanese folk tales (mukashibanashi). Yoko Imoto does a splendid job illustrating the tale of the old man who makes flowers to grow on trees from ashes. While this is a children’s book, do keep in mind that some of the themes (and pictures) throughout are a bit on the dark side, so if you’re looking to avoid subjects like murder with your kids, you might not like this one. The last two pages of the book include lyrics and music for the classic song “Hanasakajijii.” They didn’t write out any guitar chords for you–just the right hand for piano. The lyrics to the song are slightly different than the contents of the book, because many details were changed to make it more appealing to toddlers.Read More »