Heading to Japan with the little ones in tow? Pick up some picture books before your trip – they’re guaranteed to get everyone excited about the upcoming adventure! Here are a few of my favorite choices:
- One Leaf Rides the Wind by Celeste Mannis – A young girl goes on a poetic tour of a Japanese garden. Easy haiku and beautiful illustrations grace each page. A great read if you’re planning to visit any Japanese gardens.
- Hachiko by Pamela Turner – The classic tale of a devoted dog in pre-war Tokyo is a winner with young kids. Read the book before you leave and then pay homage to the famous pooch at his statue just outside Shibuya station.
- Fold Me A Poem by Kristine O’Connell George – A young boy folds sheets of colored paper into a series of charming origami animals. Haiku-like text accompanies each illustration. While there aren’t any specific instructions on how to fold any of the book’s origami creations, an appendix lists a number of resources to point you in the right direction.
- First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger – Not everyone loves seaweed and squid but this book is a great way to demystify one of the major components of Japanese cuisine. You might have better look getting the kids to try nigiri sushi after giving this a read!
- I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi – A 7-year-old girl leads readers on a cultural romp through a year of Japanese holidays and festivals. Lots of illustrations and opportunities to learn Japanese words.
There are so many more that didn’t make the list, perhaps I’ll have another 5 Faves on the same subject at a later date!
What is your favorite kids’ book on Japan or Japanese culture?