Archive | January, 2011

え:エプロン、えんぴつ、えい、えほん、えんとつ、えがお

10 Jan

Click here to print these coloring pages 🙂

え:えいが Movies

10 Jan


What Japanese movies do your kids like? So far, my daughter has only seen Ponyo. She is two years old and she LOVED it! We borrowed it from the library and watched it in both English and Japanese (the DVD includes both languages!). I think she was really able to relate to the curiosity, energy, and spunk of Ponyo. It is a movie by the famous Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. Other movies produced by Studio Gjibli that would be appropriate for toddlers (rated G) would be Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Click here to go to the Disney Studio Ghibli site to watch previews of the movies. You can also purchase these movies in my store.

 

My Favorite Books

7 Jan

Still going with the ”え:えほん” theme, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Japanese children’s books. あさえとちいさいいもうと” is a book that I read over and over as a little girl. I think it really struck a chord with me since I am an older sister. It is about a young girl who tries to take care of her little sister while their mother runs an errand. It is available in English as “Anna in Charge“.  In fact, I love everything by this author(Yoriko Tsutsui) and illustrator(Akiko Hayashi).

I asked my parents to purchase these books for me last year when they traveled to Japan: すてきなひらがな (Sutekina Hiragana) by Gomi Taro, and あいうえおのえほん by Yokota Kiyoshi/illustrated by Imoto Yoko. I requested these because I want my children to begin familiarizing themselves with what hiragana looks like. They are also great for building up their vocabulary. Both Gomi Taro and Imoto Yoko have dozens of other wonderful books. Gomi Taro has many books published in English as well (In the U.S.A. he is published by Chronicle Books)!

What are some of your favorite Japanese children’s books?

え:えほん How to get Japanese children’s books

5 Jan

May 2012 UPDATE: Please read this blog post for more ways to obtain Japanese books! 🙂

I am a strong believer that books are a great way to become literate in any language!

Over the past few years I have managed to collect a modest number of good books, and here’s how I did it:

1) Japanese Language School Book Sales – First, find out if there is a school in your area. I would just google “Japanese Language School (Your City)”. – Then contact someone to see if they are having a sale or “Bazaar” anytime during the year.


2) Find a Japanese Person and Ask for Suggestions – They will probably be a wealth of information as far as Japanese resources in your area. They may know people who are moving back to Japan (moving sales are great places to buy books!) or may be willing to sell you/or let you borrow some of their books.  Or perhaps there are Japanese Clubs in your area. High School/College teachers who teach Japanese may also be a great resource.


3) If you have a friend or relative in Japan, ask them to send you books. This is a great option if the book you want is not available anywhere in the U.S. BUT be aware that shipping will probably cost as much as the book!


4) Check your local libraries. Once in awhile, I spot books written in Japanese at the library. If you live in California, Washington, Hawaii, New York City or Illinois (where there are large Japanese populations), you may have better luck. If your local library doesn’t carry Japanese books, maybe you could ask them to!


5) If you’re really lucky, you may find something on eBay or Craigslist. (eBay has a lot nowdays!)


6) Surprisingly, Amazon.com had a modest selection…Click HERE so see my suggestions.


7) Amazon.jp, of course, has ALL the books we could possibly want. I like to look on Amazon.jp’s Best Children’s Books List to see what books are new and top-rated. Beware, shipping can add up but it’s cheaper than flying to Japan 😉


8 )Find a Japanese Bookstore- If you know of any, let me know and I’ll add it to this list: Columbus, OH: Hana Gifts. California, Chicago, New Jersey: Mitsuwa New York, California, Washington: Kinokuniya New York, California, Hawaii: Book-Off


If I had all the money in the world, I would hop on the plane to Japan and come home with a suitcase full of books 🙂 Do YOU have any other tips? Please share!

ポプラ社 POPLAR Publishing Company

3 Jan

When I started this blog a few months ago, I sent out an email to all of my Japanese friends to ask them for their favorite Japanese resources- websites, books, etc. Little did I know, one of my friends works for a Japanese children’s book publishing company called ポプラ社 (POPLAR Company)! Here is their website.

He asked if I would like him to send me some books. UUmmmm… YES PLEASE! Just a few days ago, I received a large package in the mail containing beautiful, hardcover Japanese picture books! I was in heaven. What a great way to start the new year!

Here are the books I received: わたしはいまとてもしあわせですティモシーとサラ てづくりケーキコンテストつきよのゆめうそなきとりかえっこねずみくんのクリスマスウーフはあかちゃんみつけたよあなたがだいすき、and ベビープーののりもの。They are all beautiful, have great content, and will be enjoyed by our family for many many years!

In addition to the books, he also sent me fun electronic toys made by POPLAR Publishing Company. My daughter and I have been having a lot of fun singing our favorite songs on this karaoke machine (どうようカラオケえほん):

This is a little bit advanced for her yet, but I know in a year or two she’ll have a lot of fun learning to play songs on this Mickey and Minnie musical drum book (ドンドコ!ドレミたいこ):

He was thoughtful enough to send me a toy for my baby as well… ”プーさんのタンバリンえほん”

Thank you thank you thank you H-san!

POPLAR also has a cute website for kids where you can play games and print off coloring pages related to their books:

Poplarland

 

I am not sure how we can buy books from POPLAR in the USA. My guess is that you can’t, unless you get lucky and somebody is selling them on eBay. Our best bet would probably be to find the book we want via their website, then ask a friend in Japan to purchase and send the book to us.

Oh why oh why is it so hard to buy Japanese books in America? I plan to do another big post on how to obtain Japanese books soon. Please post a comment or email me if you have any suggestions.

Happy New Year!

3 Jan

I know there aren’t many of you who frequent this blog, but thank you for visiting 🙂

One of my new year’s resolutions is to keep posting helpful content on this little blog and to keep feeling motivated to teach my children Japanese despite its challenges. My daughter will begin attending Japanese Saturday School this year so I’m sure that will be an exciting learning adventure for us! Hope your 2011 is off to a great start.

Love, Hiragana Mama

 

Make your own 2011 postcard like the one above (2011 is the year of the rabbit) by clicking here.

 

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