Book Review of 「じゃあじゃあ びりびり」 by Noriko Matsui

2 Million+ Copies (As of 2015)

Japanese Title: じゃあじゃあ びりびり
English Title: Gush, Gush, Rip, Rip (Self-Translated)
Publisher: 偕成社
Author: まつい のりこ
Illustrator: まつい のりこ

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is an excellent book for babies that relates familiar things with the sounds they make. Babies will be thrilled to hear the sound that relates to animals, railroad crossings, babies, and more. The book starts out with space for you to write “This book belongs to _____” and ends with the back cover saying, “The end. See you again.” As always, the beauty is in the simplicity.Read More »


Book Review of 「いない いない ばあ」 by Miyoko Matsutani

6 Million+ Copies (As of 2017)

Japanese Title: いない いない ばあ
English Title: Peek-a-Boo
Publisher: 童心社
Author: 松谷 みよ子
Illustrator: 瀬川 康男

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is a straightforward peek-a-boo book that all kids are sure to love. Each animal covers their eyes on one page and then has outstretched arms with big, wide-open eyes on the next. The last two pages are a cute little girl named Non-chan, with cute, beady little eyes and a blue dress with stars. As with most all baby books, the genius is in the simplicity.Read More »

Book Review of 「しろくまちゃんのほっとけーき」 by Ken Wakayama

Almost 3 Million Copies (As of August 2017)

Japanese Title: しろくまちゃんのほっとけーき
English Title: White Bear’s Pancakes (Self-Translated)
Publisher: こぐま社
Author: わかやま けん
Illustrator: わかやま けん

Overall Impression and Summary:

This is cute book about a little white bear that makes pancakes. She starts out making the pancakes on her own, but then the mom comes to help. Once they are finished making the pancakes, little white bear calls her friend and they eat together. The pictures are drawn simply and the expression on the animals’ faces do not change throughout the book. This can be annoying at first, but once you realize that makes the animals more like the real stuffed toys your kids play with in real life, it’s actually brilliant.Read More »