The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr

This book is absolutely marvelous.  So marvelous that, even though it is a “youth” book, they have published it in Large Print for those of us that are no longer young in years.  I read it in one evening.  And it was DELIGHTFUL.  The lessons encapsulated in this easy read are ones I want my daughter to learn.  For example, all people are treated with dignity and respect.  Each person has a talent that contributes to the group as a whole.  Unlikely people are given big chances – and they more than rise to the occasion.  It also portrays family and love by relationships, not blood ties.

And, it takes place in the USA when, as it says on the back, animals were brought to market on their own hooves or claws.  I’d never heard of a turkey drive before.

It’s a great book!  I’m trying to get Jun interested in it (she’s almost 8) as a “listen while Mama reads book.”  I hope I’m successful!



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Yoko Books by Rosemary Wells

Ahhhh, these books are too wonderful.  At least half of them make me cry! 

Rosemary Wells has captured many of the simple things that make moving to a new country a challenge for kids in school.  In particular, kids moving from Japan to the USA.

Now, Jun is about as American as they come – though she still insists that babies “hatch!”  Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds.  But our family IS bi-lingual.  Bi-cultural.  We eat food from the US as well as Japan.  We like to take rice-balls on picnics.  We use chopsticks.  Some of us read and write Japanese better than English.

Anyway, these are great books!  Read and learn and maybe cry!



Yoko’s Paper Cranes

Yoko's Paper Cranes

Yoko’s Show and Tell

Yoko's Show-and-Tell

Yoko Writes Her Name

Yoko Writes Her Name

Yoko Learns to Read

Yoko Learns to Read

Yoko’s World of Kindness

Yoko's World of Kindness: Golden Rules for a Happy Classroom

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Side by Side

When we decided to move to the States, but continue to teach English via Skype to Japanese students, I was in need of a good textbook that had various levels, that didn’t require a whiteboard to explain grammar, that could be easily purchased in Japan or the US, and that would work well with private students.

Somehow, I came across Side by Side, the third edition.  And I love it.  Since choosing it, many other teachers have told me how much they like it as well!  Why didn’t I know about this series earlier????!!!?  Oh well, it is serving me very well, and I’m glad to have it!

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A Mother For Choco by Keiko Kasza

Imagine my surprise when I read this book that is quite oriented towards adoptive and blended families and realized the author was Japanese – where neither adoptive nor blended families are the norm!  To be fair, she has lived in the US for years, but…I still take my hat off to her for writing such a sensitive and helpful book.

This is the story of a little yellow bird named Choco. He is in desperate want for a mother. He looks and looks for a mother who has some of the same physical characteristics as himself. But he is sorely disappointed when they all prove not to be his mother. The mother who finds him is a mother in the true sense of the word.

I was very touched by A Mother for Choco.  Obviously, my little Japanese Jun Bug and I look nothing at all alike, physically. So, I was so happy that I could reinforce our mother/child link through this book. Jun, on the other hand saw nothing at all unusual about the “real” mother becoming Choco’s mother, and doesn’t seem to yet see our physical differences. It made me laugh!

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Filed under Adoption, Children's

Open the Barn Door by Christopher Santoro

I am a sucker for books whose illustrations I love.  This is a chunky flap book.  Not a lot of dialogue.  Just a bunch of barnyard animals telling you what they “say.”  And the most delightful pictures!  Ahhh, this is the kind of art that I love!  (And a “flap book”, for anyone who doesn’t know, has little flaps kids get to open up to reveal a SECRET something.  All the rage with toddlers!)  I love this book!51YY2PP434L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

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Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton

Well, you know, I think it would be hard to get too much of Sandra Boynton.  That being said I don’t like ALL of her books, just most of them!


I’d like to tell you I have a deep reason for liking this one.  But, I don’t!  It is just plain CUTE!  I have found in the past 3 1/4 years that I love books that rhyme.  And this one rhymes wonderfully.  And it is silly.  And, if it NEEDS a redeeming factor, it does teach that pigs DON’T say ” La La La,” and that dogs DO say “bow wow wow.” 

This is just a delightful book that ends with the enticing question “It’s quiet now, what do YOU say?”

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Pete’s Puddles by Pierre Prat and Hannah Roche

A friend recently posted about toddler books that depict children from different parts of the world.  I am caucasian and my husband and daughter are asian.  Various other family members are various other …ian’s, so books that my daughter can identify with are really important to me. 

I have no idea in the whole world where I got this book.  Surely I didn’t pay real money for it.  However, as Jun has practically memorized it AND there are children from four various racial backgrounds in the series (only two in this particular book), I think I should introduce it so other parents can give it a shot if they like.


Seriously, I’m not sure why Jun likes it so much.  No rhyme.  No real plot.  No real ending.  No real beginning.  But, apparently it was written by folks who are a lot better at reading a child’s heart than I am.  I guess I won’t be recycling this book for some time either!

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Filed under Children's, Multi-Cultural