I am a fan of Japanese kid’s lit. Nope I don’t and can’t read Japanese but there are many translated versions available in the market. It so happened that most of ours are translated to Chinese. Yay to good quality Chinese books! These titles are such a delight to read because they often have a humorous twist to the plot. Japanese also create the cutest books for little humans. A few of C’s favourite and J’s first books fall in this category as well. Besides reading about Japan, I also selected a few Japanese kids’ lit for our learning unit on Japan. Here are seven of our favourite Chinese books, translated from Japanese:
宫西达也 著 (Tatsuya Miyanishi)
It talks about a foodie adventure of a very hungry snake, through which introduces a little of numbers, shapes and colours. Illustrations are eye-catching: bold, childlike and colourful. Text is simple and repetitive which encourages young readers to anticipate and participate in read. After reading together with C for about 5 nights, C enjoys reading the story back to us. It may look like she can read, but it’s half memory and half reading pictures.
渡边 千夏 著 (Watanabe Kumiko)
Credit goes to Sylvia who found this book and gifted us a copy! Thanks blogner! This is one genius kid’s lit that uses a reflective page on the left to complete the illustrations on the right. Though the text is not the most fluent to read (it includes quite a number of onomatopoeia), it is still a fun book to read especially before making pancakes for breakfast.
#3 挖孔认知绘本， 捉迷藏系列
石川浩二 著 （Koji Ishikawa）
This series of books is one of C’s and J’s first Chinese books. Being a board book illustrated with bright vibrant colours, it makes an excellent choice for a first book. Each book introduces 8 items of a theme. Each item is introduced and hidden by a page of colours/patterns, which the following page of die cut reveals what it is. This book is also semi-bilingual as the names of each item is given in both Chinese and English.
齐藤幸一 设计 (Warabe Kimika)
I am always in a dilemma whether to allow my little humans to have access to these books. They are one of the cutest pop-up book which I have reviewed previously. They are super fun to read but yet to delicate at the same time.
木村裕一 著 (Kimura Yuichi)
C’s school has started the N1s with oral hygiene and teeth brushing so this book came in handy to instill good oral habits. As the title suggests, this book is a playful picture book that attracts young readers with lift the pages that introduces brushing teeth in a fun way. The illustrations are vibrant and comical. This book is part of the 10-book 婴儿游戏绘本 series that introduces some self-care topics like sleeping, bathing, changing clothes and toiletting.
岸良真由子 文 (Mayuko Kishira)
This book tells a heartwarming story of how the rooster and his new neighbour befriended each other. It talks about making compromises and sustaining a friendship despite their differences. Simple story with a powerful message. Illustrations are typically Japanese: fine thin lines, simple bold colours.
#7 可爱的鼠小弟 系列中江嘉男 文 (Yoshiwo Nakae)
The Adorable Little Mouse Brother series tells the adventures of the little mouse and his animal friends in a light hearted and sometimes humorous way. Text are simple to read. The pencil illustrations are clean and illustrates the text in a straightforward manner. This series comes in a set of 22 books and is recommended for ages 0-4year old. The book set that I bought came with a reader’s guide, which briefs you on the values and lessons that you can learn from each short story. And the subtle touch of humour in every book? We like!
These are 7 of our favourite Japanese kid’s lit that we read prior to our trip. We visited some bookstores while in Japan and I managed to hunt down the Chinese version. I can’t wait to share these new titles with you!