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)
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 »


Book Review of 「だっこ」 by Hiromi Nakano

Japanese Title: だっこ
English Title: Hold Me! (Self-Translated)
なかの ひろみ、まつもと よしこ

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a great book to teach your kids ordinal numbers from 1 to 10 in a fun, playful way. The book lists 10 animals and the different ways they hold their babies. Kids are sure to recognize most of the animals with the exception of the tern. (I didn’t even know that one in English.) Wonderful pictures and super-cute text.

I laughed to myself because a few of the photos in here are by Suzi Eszterhas, who took the pictures for an elephant book I reviewed.Read More »

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 「きょうの おやつは」 by Chinatsu Watanabe


Japanese Title: きょうの おやつは
English Title: It’s Snack Time –Mirror Reflection Makes a Story– (Publisher’s Translation)

Publisher: 福音館書店
Author: わたなべ ちなつ
Illustrator: わたなべ ちなつ

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a fun mirror book about making pancakes. They have it set up so that some of the objects on the mirror are static (printed over the mirror), which is a really cool idea and adds a new dimension to the book. When you hold the book just right, it actually looks like the egg is falling into a 3-dimensional bowl and it actually looks like the pancake batter is falling into a 3-dimensional skillet. I love the picture of cat smelling the delicious aroma of the pancakes cooking. The publisher’s site has some pictures of the inside–click the book cover to see.Read More »

Book Review of 「ぱん だいすき」 by Kiyoshi Soya

Japanese Title: ぱん だいすき
English Title: OUR FAVORITE BREADS (Publisher’s Translation)
Publisher: 福音館書店
Author: 征矢 清(そや きよし)
Illustrator: ふくしま あきえ

Overall Impression and Summary:

The pictures in this book are absolutely stunning. You can almost smell the bread as the author entices you with the various delicious breads typically sold in Japanese bakeries. The first two pages show a shot of the inside of a bakery and over 20 different kinds of bread for sale. The book is shown from the perspective of someone choosing which breads they will buy from a bakery. At the end of the book, they sit down at a perfectly set table to eat their selections. Because they don’t show you the person buying everything, it makes it that much easier to insert yourself into the story. Read More »