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I Live in Tokyo Paperback – November 6, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bright, bustling illustrations abound in this pictorial peek at Japanese life and customs through the eyes of a Tokyo schoolgirl. Mimiko takes readers on a journey through the calendar year, highlighting each month's important traditions. Takabayashi (Marshmallow Kisses) devotes a two-page spread to each month, filling it with petite, concentrated watercolors (many of them captioned in Japanese and English). Pictures of Mimiko's 10 favorite meals (curry rice and tempura top the list) fill one page, while 20 appealing wagashi cakes for a tea ceremony occupy another. Takabayashi marks the start of school in April with intricate pictures of school uniforms, Japanese notebooks and school lunches. On the facing page, she acquaints readers with Japanese writing and forms a clever border by pictorially showing how 10 kanji characters (Chinese characters used in Japanese writing) evolved from the pictures they represent. Such versatile artwork demonstrates the text's examples throughout the book. Though the busy layout may be visually overwhelming at times, it invites readers to slow down and savor each picture. A glossary of Japanese words and numerals plus some simple phrases conclude this informative volume. From Ichigatsu (January) to Junigatsu (December), Takabayashi accessibly and handsomely gives children a taste of life in Tokyo. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-Seven-year-old Mimiko leads readers through a year highlighting the festivals, activities, food, and her family's daily routine. The name of each month is written along the left border in phonetic Japanese, English, and Kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese writing). January begins with oshogatsu, a New Year celebration. The illustration depicts the family having a special meal, and various holiday items. The facing page is about calligraphy, or shodo. The illustration shows mother and daughter practicing their brushwork (January 2nd is said to be perfect for writing), as well as the Japanese zodiac, and a racket used for Japanese badminton, which seems out of place. Other festivals included are setsubun, celebrated the day before the first day of spring (February 3rd); the Bon Festival in July; and school field day (undokai) in October. Readers learn that Valentine's Day is celebrated, and although Christmas is not, Mimiko observes the tradition of decorating a tree. The last page lists the months again, with a pronunciation guide, as well as common words and phrases. This book's gentle, childlike watercolor illustrations capture an array of special and mundane events in one youngster's life. An appealing browsing item rather than fodder for reports.

DeAnn Tabuchi, San Anselmo Public Library, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618494847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618494842
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
"I Live in Tokyo" is a sweet little picture book describing the life of a small girl, Mimiko, and her life in Tokyo, Japan. The book is sectioned off into months, with each month telling the story of something that happens in Japan during that month in a two-page spread, with very pretty illustrations.

This is a great book to introduce a typical Japanese lifestyle to the wee ones. I am happy to see how authentic it is, without antiquated notions of Japanese people running around in Kimono all the time or eating sushi at every meal. I loved seeing Mimiko listing "hamburger" as one of her top ten favorite meals. There is not a thing in here that I have not done myself in Japan, and Mimiko acts like all the little Japanese children that I know so well.

The illustrations are great, and offer a simple but accurate and inviting picture of things like a japanese house, a japanese summer festival, japanese food and even a japanese-style bathtub where you wash outside before getting into the water. Throughout the book, the Japanese names for several things are given, rather than devising English translations, and a few simple characters are introduced.

Highly recommended for anyone wanting to get kids interested in life in Japan, or just to open a window to another world, different yet similar.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lisa S. on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book a few years ago for my daughter. We aren't Japanese but we love Japan. My childhood friend was Japanese and this book brought back special memories for me. It explains so many traditions and holidays celebrated in Japan and even teaches you a little Japanese in the process. Since my daughter is a Girl Scout we used this book as an informational piece for our World Thinking Day booth last year. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves Japan and cute artsy illustrations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By buyer on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I found this book while my family and I were living in Japan, and knowing we would move someday I bought it for my son. We've recently moved out of Japan and now this book makes me a little weepy because it's so spot on! Every little detail in the pictures reminds me of home, and my son loves reading the Japanese words.
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By Margaret on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like a picture book with lots of details to talk about on each page, to promote vocabulary. Loved to read "The Good Morning Book" and "The Good Night Book" by Eloise Wilkins to my children when they were 12 - 24 months old. This is a great gift for our friends' new baby, who has a mom from Chicago and a dad from Tokyo. She will be learning to speak both English and Japanese, and will sometimes live in Japan and sometimes in America or London. Lots to look at and talk about in either language --- furniture, school, holidays, food --- but it's not a vocabulary book, it has a story. It's written in English, but you could look at the pictures and talk about the things in Tokyo in Japanese after you've read the English sentences on the page. Exactly what I was looking for!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book with which to introduce a child to Japan, things Japanese, and the Japanese language. The age range for enjoyment and enrichment is probably ages four through ten, which is unusual. This book will be read many times over, the art work is lovely, and it is an incredible buy.
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By Scott A. Johnson on June 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a Kindergarten teacher and I teach a unit on Japan. I liked this book for the children. It had a lot of details. It has a lot of words on the pages, but I read the pages to the children. They were very interested.
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By A Customer on November 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I GOT THIS BOOK FOR MY DAUGHTER TO STUDY ABOUT JAPAN.I'M FROM TOKYO AND I LIVED THERE.
THIS IS VERY ACCURATE AND I F YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JAPAN OR YOU HOMECHOOL,YOU SHOULD GET THIS BOOK FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
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By KC on September 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful book to introduce your child or students to Japan. The text is child friendly and the illustrations are bright and colorful.
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