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Monday, August 18, 2014

Exploring Japan with Books and More


Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

In the next few weeks we will be sharing our exploration of Japan. We started our exploration with an exploration of cherries which we will post about as one of our Friday Fruit Explorations. When I went to look at books about cherries I was reminded of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan and thought it was the perfect tie in for our exploration. I contacted Tuttle Publishing and asked for some books about Japan and Japanese. Today I am going to share/review two of them with you. The first book is My First Book of Japanese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Michelle Haney Brown.
As with My First Book of Chinese Words which I reviewed in July, this book goes through the English alphabet sharing a Japanese word that starts with that sound. In the beginning the book has an introduction to Japanese as well as a pronunciation guide. To me one of the best part of these books is learning a bit about the culture and life in Japan. For example, t is for tanuki which is a raccoon dog. I did not know what a raccoon dog is, but found it interesting to see an animal we do not have that lives there. They also mention that Japan does not have skunks. Did you know that in Japan they have a version of Rock, Paper, Scissors? In this book you learn more about the train, food and animals of Japan. I find this book as a perfect introduction to studying Japan. It gives you an overview of things that are the same and different with our cultures and introduces the language at the same time.


The next book is Japanese Children's Favorite Stories by Florence Sakade. This is a fun book of traditional Japanese tales. This book has sequels since it has been so popular for sixty years. We love it! Hazel asks me to read her a couple of the stories each night. Through these traditional stories the reader learns a bit about Japanese culture. From the food and animals to jobs you see what life in Japan is and was like. Some stories talk about the islands of Japan and others tell you about things in the culture like tea, fans and such. The pictures are spread throughout the stories give a glimpse of the things that are happening in the stories as well as the traditional clothes.

These wonderful books are as always of the highest quality and well made. I love the books Tuttle Publishing puts out. They were the perfect introduction to a look at Japan. As I mentioned we will be exploring more about the country, language and culture in the next few weeks.

For some more on Japan check out: