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Thread: Japanese children's books

  1. #1
    Senior Member MJjunkie86's Avatar
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    Default Japanese children's books

    Looking for really simple books in hiragana or katakana that Japanese children read when they are learning to read.
    Simple books like, "The cat sat on the mat"
    Been searching the web but everything am finding is for older kids.

    Any titles at all would help me out

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Just to clarify, you want them to learn to read Japanese? As in ねこがマットにすわっている。

    Or are you trying to teach English in terrifying katakana?

    Or is it too early for my brain to work?

  3. #3
    Senior Member MJjunkie86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Oh sorry should have been clearer! I want to learn japanese! I know the hiragana and katakana so want to start reading simple things!

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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Hmm, comics are great. Something like Doraemon will have furigana for almost all the Kanji, and there are hundreds (thousands, billions?) of issues. I read it with my students sometimes.

    I've heard One Piece, Rurouni Kenshin, Evangelion, Dragon Ball have furigana, though you'd have to check as I've never read them myself. Man I'm bad at studying Japanese.

    As far as books, anything that is a fairy tale is a good start. I've seen ももたろ (Momotaro) with furigana countless times. Try googling むかしばなし (Mukashi Banashi). You can find a bunch online for free, and use Rikaichan if you can't find it with furigana.

  5. #5
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Comics for little kids, like Doraemon, are pretty good. Just be prepared for lots of slang and casual speech.

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    Senior Member MJjunkie86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Ok thank you guys!
    I shall check them out and hopefully my reading will improve

  7. #7

    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    There is a series called 10 minute stories broken down into grade levels. They are really good.
    Plus you get 150 pages of stories for 500 yen.
    Last edited by jwkelley; February 3rd, 2014 at 12:45.

  8. #8
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Go into any book store and look at the books for preschoolers
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    You have to be a little careful with kids book though. Many kids book do weird word play. You'll basically be learning strange word play with little functional use.

  10. #10
    Professional Fun Killer hypatia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    I would second the advice of many of the above regarding caution with kids books.

    I found this list to be a pretty good starting place: Japanese Reading Practice For Beginners

    Also, this site: Beginner Level | チョコチョコ

  11. #11

    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    I agree. Kids books will be no more interesting or helpful than textbook readig exercises. If you want to start reading then at least go with shounen manga level stuff. Almost all the kanji will have furigana, the language will be fairly natural and the story will hopefully be interesting enough to keep you going


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  12. #12
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    I actually dislike using small children's books to learn; the really young ones are only kana, so it's actually harder to figure out sometimes which word they mean because there's no kanji for context.
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    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Quote Originally Posted by zombiekelly View Post
    I actually dislike using small children's books to learn; the really young ones are only kana, so it's actually harder to figure out sometimes which word they mean because there's no kanji for context.
    Yep - even though most Japanese learners' initial response to kanji is "no god whyyyy" it's much harder to read a long string of just kana.

  14. #14
    Ghost of Ecru SomePeopleJustSaySnow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    I've been doing roughly the same thing to help me with reading comprehension (when I can be bothered, which isn't very often), and I found a few japanese versions of american / english classics that use simple kanji as well as kana. The Very Hungry Caterpillar bought back some memories.

  15. #15
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    I am not a big comic fan but ok I liked a lot at first was よつばと it has the furigana and Yotsuba often repeats everything. She reminded me of the kids I was teaching at the time. Plus you'll learn so slang.....it's it's pretty funny.

    I would focus on slice of life comics rather than fantasy at first. Learning phrases like, "first period is math class" will be far more useful than, " he ate the rubber fruit and now he is able to punch the big boob'd lady with the strange name on the imaginary island on a fake ocean"


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  16. #16
    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Also there is an iPad only app (no iPhone) called ComicFlow that is really good. You can zoom in to see the furigana etc.


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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    What grade level is yotsuba meant for - would it be something I could try reading to my kindergartener? Thx!

  18. #18
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Yotsubato is a manga for young men. It's still probably ok for a little kid.

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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    Oh! I thought it was about a little girl, thanks!

  20. #20
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese children's books

    It is.

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