My Japan by Etsuko Watanabe. Kane/Miller. 2009. Copy supplied by publisher.
The Plot: Yumi, seven years old, lives outside of Tokyo. She shares her life with the reader, from going to school to holidays.
The Good: Yumi presents her life in a matter of fact way, full of the details that readers love. Even the back cover gives information (Japan has over 3,000 islands).
Yumi's Japan is modern; when she shares the meals she eats, there is sushi, ramen, tonkatsu...and hamburger. And spaghetti. It is also traditional; during summer vacation at her grandparents, she wears a yukata.
The illustrations are bright and full of things to be discovered, some of which are explained (the process of taking a bath, where one washes before going into the tub) and some aren't explained (the kitchen shows storage in the floor, something I learned about from reading Apartment blogs.) Other details, such as those about the school days, are ones I've read in Here and There Blog, a snapshot look at Japan written for kids.
Kane/Miller publishes children's books from around the world. Guess where My Japan was first published? Wrong! France.
© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy