I was asked to read a “fun” book to the first graders this week for Tosho Volunteer. After thinking it over carefully, I chose “Foggy Foggy Forest” by Nick Sharratt. I borrowed the Japanese edition from the library and bought the English version through Amazon.

I wasn’t 100% pleased with it, but I thought it was pretty good. I kept comparing it to my own book “Chasing Shadows” (no longer in print). I just love “Chasing Shadows” and don’t think “Foggy Foggy Forest” is quite as good. Oh well.

However, when we did “Foggy Foggy Forest” in front of the class, the other Tosho Volunteers told me they just loved it. They thought it was so cute and fun. So it was a success!

Then later yesterday we all went to the library where we chose books for the individual classrooms. (They borrow and read them for a month, then we return them. This enables the kids to have access to more books than normal.)

I was assigned to the sixth grade. The western books (in Japanese, of course) that I chose were as follows:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
In Grandma’s Attic by Arletta Richardson
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Doll’s House by Rumer Godden (Have not actually read this. Would like to.)
Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda (Have not read this series, but have read other books by this author.)
Little Nicholas (I read this in the original French, really liked it.)
Pippi Longstocking (the wonderful edition illustrated by Lauren Child. So colorful.)

I think that was it, in addition to Japanese books and non-fiction. As I look over the list in the comfort of my own home, I think it looks awfully girl. I wish I had included more “guy” books.

I feel I know a lot about western books, but I don’t know anything about Japanese books. I have to choose based mostly on the cover, which is a really lame way to choose. Another than obvious ones (like “Kaidan Restaurant”) I just don’t know what is “in” and what is “classic” and what is just plain good to read. Maybe I should research?

I chose Brazil and World Cup/Soccer related books for non-fiction. Plus some biological book that I thought sort of related to STAP, which is big in the news and I still can’t quite understand. And other books, too.

I asked my son if the kids even read these darned books (chosen with so much love and care.) He said some do and some don’t. (I think my son is one of the “don’t”s) That pleased me, that at least some of the kids are getting acces to Red-Haired Anne. I didn’t meet her until I was an adult. So many years of my life without my darling kindred spirit, Anne with an E!

ETA: I just realized that the books are very international! Two Americans, One Italian, Canadian, Australian, Brit, Frenchman, Australian, and Swedish! Yay me! I didn’t choose books by Chinese or Urugyan or Kenyan writers, because honestly our library doesn’t really stock those authors/nationalies. Basically western or Japanese.