One of my favorite Japanese children’s book characters is Nontan/ノンタン! He is a mischievous, curious, fun-loving kitty cat. The book series is written and illustrated by Sachiko Kiyono (キヨノサチコ) and have been around since I was a little girl. There are books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. The illustrations are adorable and the stories are cute, short, and perfect for little ones. Here are some of the books:
My children really enjoy having these books read to them. There’s a book for every occasion: potty-training, taking a bath, making friends, birthdays, Christmas, and most frequently… playing! I bet these books would be really popular in the United States too, if they were translated into English. The characters are so universally relatable. I highly recommend this series for children.
Next time you visit Japan, or a Japanese bookstore, take a look in the children’s section of the bookstore. I am sure you will find some of these adorable books! There are also Nontan DVD’s/TV shows too. Columbia makes a newer show called “Genki Genki Nontan/げんきげんきノンタン” and you can find some older Nontan episodes on YouTube:
What are some of your favorite Japanese children’s book characters? I would love to hear!
Click on “Select Category” –> “Books & Stories” in the sidebar for more book recommendations.
Want to learn more? LOVE Nontan? They just launched an official Nontan Blog.(I am drooling over the cute stuffed animals and iPhone covers!)
Find worksheets to practice writing の HERE!