I Live in Tokyo

I Live in Tokyo

5.0 1
by Mari Takabayashi
     
 

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Have you ever been to Tokyo, Japan? Far away, in the Pacific Ocean, Tokyo is a busy city of color, activity, celebrations, gigantic buildings, and much more. Seven-year-old Mimiko lives in Tokyo, and here you can follow a year’s worth of fun, food and festivities in Mimiko’s life, month by month. Learn the right way to put on a kimono and see

Overview


Have you ever been to Tokyo, Japan? Far away, in the Pacific Ocean, Tokyo is a busy city of color, activity, celebrations, gigantic buildings, and much more. Seven-year-old Mimiko lives in Tokyo, and here you can follow a year’s worth of fun, food and festivities in Mimiko’s life, month by month. Learn the right way to put on a kimono and see Mimiko’s top ten favorite meals—just try not to eat the pages featuring delicious wagashi!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bright, bustling illustrations abound in this pictorial peek at Japanese life and customs through the eyes of a Tokyo schoolgirl. Mimiko takes readers on a journey through the calendar year, highlighting each month's important traditions. Takabayashi (Marshmallow Kisses) devotes a two-page spread to each month, filling it with petite, concentrated watercolors (many of them captioned in Japanese and English). Pictures of Mimiko's 10 favorite meals (curry rice and tempura top the list) fill one page, while 20 appealing wagashi cakes for a tea ceremony occupy another. Takabayashi marks the start of school in April with intricate pictures of school uniforms, Japanese notebooks and school lunches. On the facing page, she acquaints readers with Japanese writing and forms a clever border by pictorially showing how 10 kanji characters (Chinese characters used in Japanese writing) evolved from the pictures they represent. Such versatile artwork demonstrates the text's examples throughout the book. Though the busy layout may be visually overwhelming at times, it invites readers to slow down and savor each picture. A glossary of Japanese words and numerals plus some simple phrases conclude this informative volume. From Ichigatsu (January) to Junigatsu (December), Takabayashi accessibly and handsomely gives children a taste of life in Tokyo. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Seven-year-old Mimiko gives the reader a year-long introduction to life in Japan, highlighting traditional Japanese holidays and celebrations. Mimiko, along with her younger brother, Kenta, share an exciting year together, and each month brings a new adventure. In January, the children celebrate New Year by dining on ozoni, a soup made with rice cakes and vegetables, and osechi ryori, a sweet side dish, while giving and receiving nengajo, or holiday cards. Mimiko and her family celebrate Hinamatsuri, the Doll's Festival, in March to pray for young girls' growth and happiness, and in November, Mimiko and Kenta participate in Shichigosan by visiting a shrine to pray for the growth of young children. The book highlights the importance of family in Japanese culture: children spend holidays with their grandparents and take the shinkansen, or bullet train, to visit them during the summer. Family weddings and summer nights spent playing with cousins are also important events in Mimiko and Kenta's lives. Watercolor illustrations display Mimiko's top ten favorite meals, explain the derivation of Japanese writing from Kanji, or descriptive pictures, and offer instructions on how to wear a kimono. Takabayashi narrates the story in English and intersperses Japanese words and phrases; each month of the year appears in English, Japanese, and Kanji. The glossary contains Japanese words, numbers, phrases, and months. 2001, Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 5 to 8.
—Christi Conti
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Seven-year-old Mimiko leads readers through a year highlighting the festivals, activities, food, and her family's daily routine. The name of each month is written along the left border in phonetic Japanese, English, and Kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese writing). January begins with oshogatsu, a New Year celebration. The illustration depicts the family having a special meal, and various holiday items. The facing page is about calligraphy, or shodo. The illustration shows mother and daughter practicing their brushwork (January 2nd is said to be perfect for writing), as well as the Japanese zodiac, and a racket used for Japanese badminton, which seems out of place. Other festivals included are setsubun, celebrated the day before the first day of spring (February 3rd); the Bon Festival in July; and school field day (undokai) in October. Readers learn that Valentine's Day is celebrated, and although Christmas is not, Mimiko observes the tradition of decorating a tree. The last page lists the months again, with a pronunciation guide, as well as common words and phrases. This book's gentle, childlike watercolor illustrations capture an array of special and mundane events in one youngster's life. An appealing browsing item rather than fodder for reports.-DeAnn Tabuchi, San Anselmo Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Here is a charming-and accurate-introduction to Tokyo as seen through the eyes of a fictional seven-year-old girl. Mimiko takes readers month-by-month through the year, highlighting foods, festivals, and family and school activities. The left edge of each month's double-paged spread names the month in English, in Japanese characters, and in transliteration. Takabayashi (born and raised in Tokyo) has painted many small, lively vignettes, all informatively labeled, to extend her more general text and larger pictures. The vibrant watercolors elegantly combine childlike simplicity with a wealth of detail. We see school texts and uniforms, Japanese writing, the Japanese zodiac, Mimiko's top ten favorite meals, a bullet train passing Mt. Fuji, and more. A painted map of Japan provides a frame of reference, and the final page includes pronunciations for the months, the numbers from one to twelve, and a few Japanese words and phrases. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)
From the Publisher

"Bright, bustling illustrations abound in this pictorial peek at Japanese life and customs through the eyes of a Tokyo schoolgirl." --Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

"Takabayashi offers little ones a child's-eye view of life in suburban Tokyo, along with a chance to roll some Japanese words and phrases around on their tongues." --Booklist Booklist, ALA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618494842
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/28/2004
Edition description:
None
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
360,741
Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Mari Takabayashi was born in Tokyo, Japan, and studied at Otsuma Women’s College. She illustrated Flannel Kisses and Marshmallow Kisses and is the author and illustrator of I Live in Brooklyn and I Live in Toyko. She lives with her husband and their two children in New York.

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I Live in Tokyo 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great picture book and story about a year in the life of a 7 year old Japanese girl. It is a wonderful addition to our library - one I'm sure our girls, who reside with us in Tokyo now, will enjoy for a long time.