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Including everything from diagrams for using Asian-style toilets to the contents of a kindergartener's schoolbag, this French import presents a small-format visual dictionary of life in Japan. Densely packed spreads show seven-year-old Yumi in everyday surroundings-in her kitchen, her school, her grandparents' house-while text and additional spot illustrations supply information about objects and terms that will be new to most readers: yukata(a summer robe made of cotton) and hanetsuki(a traditional New Year's game), for example. Watanabe's workmanlike acrylics, flat and primitive-looking, focus on conveying as much visual information as possible. Some perplexing questions remain-what exactly is the mysterious door in the floor of Yumi's kitchen? Watanabe's most valuable contribution may be to show a jumble of homegrown Japanese objects and foreign imports-e.g., the pageful of Japanese dishes with the plate of spaghetti and the hamburger included among them-a jumble that characterizes not only the Japanese experience, but the rest of the global community's as well. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.