Rating: ★★★★★


The format was so cool. It was two books in one. There were two stories, one about a lonely cat and one about a lonely bird. The bird’s story starts “front to back” and the cat’s story starts “back to front” (to American readers). Then their stories meet up in the middle of the book when the characters meet. It’s such a cool idea.


I highly recommend this book. Not only was it a cool idea, but I appreciated that the vocab and grammar was all stuff we had covered. I don’t think I had to look anything up, and I understood the story. This is one of my favorite Tadoku books by students I have read. Also, it looks like the drawings are hand drawn, and that’s really cool.



Rating: ★★★★★

冬のさんぼは とてもおもしろくて、すごくきれいでした。冬が すきです!

I really liked that story, the drawings were so pretty. I wish I was able to draw like this! The story was interesting as well even if it was sometimes hard to read because the black writing overlapped the drawings!

I definitely recommend this story!

ただいま 木村家の毎日

Rating: ★★★★

この本はとてもかわいくて、やさしです。It is about the 木村family. There are four people in the family: お母さん、お父さん、their daughter 由美、and their son 一郎。One day, あとで お父さんと由美と一郎はうちに帰ります、they prepare a surprise birthday celebration for お母さん!

This is a simple story with simple vocabulary and grammar structures. It is a great read for Japanese 110 students looking to refresh on the things we have learned in class. It is also just a very sweet story of a kind and caring family!

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

Rating: ★★★★★


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.

木村家の毎日 「ただいま」

Rating: ★★★★★


I would very much recommend this book to first year Japanese students, because it is an easy read and has a heartwarming, well-structured story about a family celebrating a very special day (you have to read the book to find out what that occasion is!) Also, the characters of the book are illustrated in an adorable style, which adds to the pleasure of reading this piece.


Rating: ★★★★
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I really like this book and this is composed of two little stories. このほんはとてもおもしろくて、やさしです。 キツネは頭がいいが、ネズミはとても頭がよくなかったです。ネズミは肉をを持って、歌いました。だから、肉はありませんでした。キツネは盗みましたから.

I really recommend this book to the first year Japanese students. By telling the stories in familiar adjectives and past tense we have practiced in the class, I feel more confident when reading the Japanese books. Also, this folktale about the fox and crow could be very familiar to many of us that always has been told in our childhood. As a result, it is a lot more easier for us to understand the story. But I borrowed it from Umass library so you may check this book online.


Rating: ★★★★★



This book was really cute, and a bit longer than the others, which I liked. The vocabulary were mostly things we know, but with a few new words that could be learned from context. It is based on an Aesop fable which is really cool since I read those a lot as a kid! It had a nice message about how what’s a perfect fit for someone, isn’t necessarily a perfect fit for everyone (and that’s ok!). Overall, I would recommend it for anyone just starting Japanese (first year, first semester).


Rating: ★★★★★



The book consists of two stories. The first one is why the shrimp’s body is not straight, and the second one is why there is no cat year. It’s so fun to know some Japanese traditional stories! There are some unknown words in the book, but I can figure out their meanings when I see pictures.


Rating: ★★★★★

私わこの本が大好きです!面白いですから。I really like this book, because it is interesting. The warm story is about this small family celebrating the mother’s birthday. The other members in the family prepared a surprise for the mother.

I recommend it to other 1st year Japanese students. There were vocabularies I didn’t recognize, but it was not difficult to guess the meaning of them based on the context and the pictures. It did help me to learn some new words and gave me a sense of how conversation is presented in Japanese written text.


Rating: ★★★★



This book is great for JPN 110 students. Some vocabulary is unfamiliar, but the story of the turtle and the hare may be familiar enough that one understands the context very well. It’s not too dense, and includes cute onomatopoeia words. At the end of the book, there’s even a little sing-along. Some grammar structures are familiar from class, so it’s good practice as well.