Plum Blossoms in Fukushima!  The weather is getting warmer!


My son and I went bike riding to the river.  There is a charming cafe there, and we had dango.


There were lots of older women there.  To tell the truth, charming cafes aren’t exactly my son’s “thing”.  I sort of had to force him to go.  But that’s better than lazing around the house playing video games!


Comu Comu from the front.  We wanted to go to its children’s library.


I discovered this neato book.  It is on the list of “best” children’s books.  (On poster….see the same book right below it?)

This book’s text is EXTREMELY simple.  I can easily translate it to English.  “Chugga Chugga.  Get on the train.  Get off the train.  Chugga Chugga.”  That sort of thing.

It widens the number of books we can do as part of our English storybook time to be able to find books with simple Japanese.  (Difficult Japanese requires me to get a notebook and pencil to translate accurately.)


All by same illustrator.   From left:  “Bug Train” This book also has VERY simple text.  “Night Train” This is a wordless book.  I LOVE wordless books for English storytime!  “Chugga Chugga”

“Chugga Chugga” is a train traversing the countryside stopping at interesting stops like this:


Spirit Station!  Can you imagine your two year old turning the page and seeing this?  He’ll either giggle or wet his pants.

Visually, it’s such an interesting page.  And so traditional…..kappa, rokurokubi…..and other stuff.  So even for an older child–Heck! even for an adult!–there is plenty to think about in such a fascinatingly illustrated page.


We stopped by the bookstore.  My son pointed out these children’s books to me.  Do you know who wrote them?  Can you guess?

Mr. Kenji Goto wrote them.  (He was beheaded by ISIS.)  The topics are AIDS, Rwanda, and so on.  He seems like such a caring man.    What a loss!   ISIS is despicable.