ノック

Rating: ★★★★★

This book is really interesting that the girl in the story meets herself! I love this story. I also love the elaborated drawings of the book.

I really recommend this book to JPN 110 and 111 students to read this. There exists some new kanjis but I believe students can understand them according to the context. This book also helps to get familiar with some kanjis.

海(うみ)の旅行(りょこう)

Rating: ★★★★★

I really like the pictures the authors drew! Those drawings are very cute. 海がだいすき!This book reminds me of a lot of 楽しいこと, though I did not get the ending. Overall, I like it.

I will recommend this to Japanese first-year students. The book is easy to read and interesting. Additionally, we can learn some new kanji.

となりのトトロ(1)・ My Neighbor Totoro: Volume 1

Rating: ★★★★★

スタジオギブリが好きな人にとって、とてもいい本です。映画(えいが)「となりのトトロ」のフィルムコミックです。ちょっと難(むずか)しい本ですが、わからない言葉(ことば)はたいてい映画から知(し)ています。漢字(かんじ)がたくさんありますが、ふりがなもいつもあります。この本を読(よ)むは難しくて楽(たの)しかったです。

For fans of Studio Ghibli, this is a great book to read (even though Totoro himself doesn’t actually appear in this volume).  It’s the first volume of the “My Neighbor Totoro” film comics, following the story from the beginning of the movie to Satsuki and Mei’s first night in their new house.  It’s a little hard to read, but if you know the film, you’ll be able to understand more than you realize through memory and context.  There’s a lot of kanji that are new for a first-year student, but furigana is always provided, and there are also a lot of kanji that we have already learned.  Being able to read this book is a good goal to aim for, even if it’s on the more difficult side right now.  Reading this book was difficult, but it was a fun challenge.

I recommend this book for fans of Totoro at any level, but as a first-year student it might be more of a goal to strive for than an easy read.  First-year second semester or second-year students might be able to get more out of it from the start.

チーズ スイートホーム

Rating: ★★★★★

このほんのなまえはチーズ スイートホーム。このほんで、猫がいます。猫のなまえはチーです。小さくて、とてもとても可愛いです!私は、チーが大すき。このほんは、やさしくなくて、とても難しかったですが、おもしろかったです。このほんで、むずかしいたんごがたくさんあります。かんじもたくさんあります。ようへいやまだはチーのともだちです。ようへいくんはやさしです。ようへい君のお父さんとお母さんもやさしな人です。

This book is about a kitty who was taking a walk with her mother and siblings, and got lost. Youhei Yamada found this kitty and wanted to keep her, however he and his family lives in an apartment that doesn’t allow people to have pets. They kept the kitty secretly and the book described their life together. This book is really hard, and I could only actually understand a small part, the rest I had to guess through looking at the pictures. I recommend this book to everyone, because it’s really cute and it’s a joy to read.  🙂 However, it might be very hard for first year students to completely understand everything.

チーズスイートホーム vol. 2

Rating: ★★★★★

チーズズイートホームというマンガのシリーズは小さいチーという子猫について物語です。一冊で、チーは色々な面白い冒険を経験します。この vol. 2 の本で、チーは新し家族の生活になれ続きます。大きくて黒い猫に会ったり、お父さんと一緒に遊んだり(お父さんは仕事をしてみているのに)、牛乳を飲んでみたりします。大きくて黒い猫は色々な短い物語に出ます。最初に、チーにとって、黒い猫は怖くて、嫌なものだけど、だんだん仲良くなります。

I would recommend this book to Japanese students of every level–it’s really simple and easy to read, but also really fun. Chii is adorable and hilarious and gets into lots of trouble. Chii also uses a kind of baby-talk that is honestly pretty adorable to read. There is some continuity between the stories within each volume, and across the series as a whole, but honestly you could probably pick up book 6 and have no trouble following what’s going on. The stories come across as short, connected vignettes rather than chapters in a long-running series.

 

    

竹取物語・宇治拾遺物語

Rating: ★★★★★

 

このマンガの本で、色々な日本の昔ばなしが集まれています。一番目の話しはこの本の中で一番長い物語で、竹取物語です。竹取さんはある日竹を取りながら、小っちゃい女の子を見つけます。寂しくて、子供がいない竹取さんと奥さんはかぐや姫という名前を付けて、育てます。かぐや姫は大人になる時、とても美しいのでかぐや姫と結婚したい男性が多いです。でも、かぐや姫は結婚したくないので、男性に挑戦することにします。そういう物語です。かぐや姫の物語の後で、色々な短い昔ばなしが入っています。面白い本です。

I would recommend this book to third and fourth year students, and possibly ambitious second-year students as well. There’s a lot of vocabulary that we don’t learn in class, but there are also helpful foot/side-notes that explain some of the vocabulary and historical references. The art style in the book is pretty nice, and that makes it fun to read, as well as the fact that the stories are pretty interesting.

ベルサイユのばら

Rating:

 

この本は面白いけど、大変に難しすぎました。1700年代の後半のフランスの物語で、主人公たちはマリーアントワネットと歴史に存在しなかったただこのシリーズに存在するオスカルという女の近衛連隊長です。他の人物も多いし、場面はだいたいベルサイユの禁中だから、敬語が多い話です。それに、名前はカタカナの長いフランスの名前やドイツの名前ので、名前さえ読むのは難し方。そして、全然分からない漢字が多い本です。沢山「王太子妃」とか「伯爵夫人」のようなフランスの華冑のタイトルは入っていて、分からない1770年代の政治の言葉も入っています。

このベルサイユのばらの一番目の一冊の物語はマリーアントワネットの子供頃からフランスの王妃になる時までのことです。同時に、オスカルは近衛連隊長になって王妃様を守りながら、フランスの国民たちの問題をちょっと調査します。そうした中で、ジャンヌという人物のとても貧乏の家族はパリに住んでいるけど、ジャンヌはベルサイユのことを憧れます。

This is a very interesting book, but it is really incredibly hard to read. It’s full of court intrigues, 敬語, complex court etiquette, and there’s a good dose of international politics at the beginning. It’s all simplified for the manga, of course, but for language learners, it’s going to be really hard to follow. There’s so much vocabulary in here that we’ve never encountered before because for obvious reasons we’re not learning about 18th century France. Some things I was able to figure out based on historical knowledge of the time period–for example, I had no idea what 「天然痘」was, but from the context of how horrified everyone was that Louis XV had contracted it, I correctly guessed it was smallpox. But I had to look up most of the titles for the nobility because I just had no idea what they were–I could tell they were titles, but I couldn’t tell which ones were more highly ranked than the others from the kanji, which meant I wasn’t always understanding the court intrigue. Usually I was able to understand the gist of what was going on, but sometimes I honestly wasn’t even getting that. Overall, I probably understood 50% of this book.

チーズスイートホーム

Rating: ★★★★

 

高校の時、友達に「チーズスイートホーム」をオススメされました。最近、このオススメを覚えて本を読むことにしました。読んでよかったです!チーはとてもかわいいと思いましたが、チーの家族が一番好きでした。チーにリアクションすることがとても面白いと思います。

Okay, so I know that the last book I reviewed was also a light-hearted children’s manga, but I still recommend this one too. Once again, the fact that it’s aimed at children means that it’s easy to follow even if you don’t understand every word. This has more of an ongoing story, but it’s still cute and not very serious, which is nice. Chi does have a tendency towards baby-talk, which can be a little confusing at times, but on the whole it’s still understandable and a fun read.

ふしぎの国のバード

Rating: ★★★★★

この漫画の主人公は、本当に生きたイザベラ・バードという旅行家で、私は聞いたことごなかったので、面白かったです。漫画を通してこの勇気のある女性の話を人々に知らせるのはとてもいいことだと思います。それに、バードさんと通訳者の伊藤(いとう)さんの関係がかわいかったです。絵もあるから私は大体わかったと思いますが、単語が少し難しいので、特に日本語4年生たちにすすめたいです。

I was quite excited to find out that this manga is (probably loosely) based on the life of a real nineteenth century English explorer, Isabella Bird. It tells the story of her travels across Japan with her interpreter Itou. I think there is a strong theme of respecting cultural differences.

I understood most of the book thanks to the pictures, but the vocabulary is pretty tough and there were definitely some jokes that I didn’t understand. Even so, I think it would be a fun read for my fourth year classmates.

オノマトペラペラ

Rating: ★★★★★

 

この本はちょっとじしょのような本だので、全部読みませんでしたが、読んだ分はとても面白かったと思います!英語が始めにだけ話せる人として、日本語のオノマトペはいつも難しかったです。英語で、オノマトペはいつも音ですが、日本語で、オノマトペのコンセプトもあるから、分かりにくいです!ぜんぜんやさしくなるでしょうが、オノマトペやマンガが好きだったら、この本は楽しいかもしれません。読んでください!

I didn’t intend to read this whole thing, since it’s sort of a glossary of Japanese onomatopoeia, and very long. But it consists of little comics explaining the onomatopoeia, which I found to be fairly easy to understand – they use a lot of familiar vocab, and almost entirely familiar grammars, and they’re very simple. Plus, the book provides romaji and a translation, so you can check yourself as you go! I would definitely recommend this to 2nd years. (Plus, the pun in the title is just. So enticing.)