Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Domo Arigato

It’s hard not to think about Japan. The people, of course, but also the culture that became warmly infused into my life when my family lived there for half a year when I was a kid.

It will be a long time before the Japanese people can resume their peaceful, everyday pleasures of slurping their soup, folding a piece of paper into an elegant animal, or admiring the beauty of a bunch of rocks placed just so.

Crisis has a way of drawing people together, as does simply getting to know each other. Today I’d like to mention a few books that can help kids appreciate the multi faceted Japanese culture.

Japan: Over 40 Activities to Experience Japan—Past and Present by Debbi Michiko Florence

The ABC”s of Origami. Paper Folding for Children by Claude Sarasas. Beautiful illustrations, easy to follow instructions.

Honda. The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars by Mark Weston. Interesting biography of Soichiro Honda. Now I want a Honda motorcycle.

Old Japan. The Hands-on Approach to History by Andrew Haslam and Clare Doran. Carp streamers, kabuki theater, laquered bento boxes—fun.

Cooking the Japanese Way by Reiko Weston Miso soup, sukiyaki, and green tea—yum.

Games People Play! Japan. By Philip Brooks Pachinko Machines, Sumo wrestlers, and Japanese Doll Festival all in one book.


Vicki Cobb said...

I'm not sure if my book on Japan is still available, some libraries may have it. It's called This Place is Crowded. I went there with artist Barbara Lavallee to capture a culture where people live physically close to each other yet maintain civility with dignity and grace. In it I contrast a rush hour with "pushers" in white gloves shoving people into the subway, where windows have been known to pop under the pressure to the minimalist serenity of the Japanese home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for mentioning my book. In fact, my book is currently up for bid at Children's Authors and Illustrators for Japan - all proceeds from this auction of fab items from the kidlit community will go directly to benefit the victims of Japan's recent disaster. http://kidlit4japan.wordpress.com/
Scroll down to see items up for bid - and more items will be added through the next 2 weeks! :) Thank you!