Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window

( 6 )

Overview

This engaging series of childhood recollections tells about an ideal school in Tokyo during World War II that combined learning with fun, freedom, and love. This unusual school had old railroad cars for classrooms, and it was run by an extraordinary man-its founder and headmaster, Sosaku Kobayashi-who was a firm believer in freedom of expression and activity.

In real life, the Totto-chan of the book has become one of Japan's most popular television personalities-Tetsuko ...

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Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window

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Overview

This engaging series of childhood recollections tells about an ideal school in Tokyo during World War II that combined learning with fun, freedom, and love. This unusual school had old railroad cars for classrooms, and it was run by an extraordinary man-its founder and headmaster, Sosaku Kobayashi-who was a firm believer in freedom of expression and activity.

In real life, the Totto-chan of the book has become one of Japan's most popular television personalities-Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. She attributes her success in life to this wonderful school and its headmaster.

The charm of this account has won the hearts of millions of people of all ages and made this book a runaway bestseller in Japan, with sales hitting the 4.5 million mark in its first year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Totto-chan] is a quiet indictment of sterile education." New York Times

"Sensitively written, delicately illustrated, poetically translated, Totto-chan is, like a haiku, filled with aesthetic and philosophical depth." Library Journal

"[Totto-chan] has reminded millions of Japanese what children think education should be." International Herald Tribune

"Totto-chan can be expected to attract American educators, parents, and perhaps some children who appreciate the international view beyond their own first-floor window." Christian Science Monitor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568363912
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/23/2012
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 207,880
  • Product dimensions: 4.56 (w) x 6.98 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

TETSUKO KUROYANAGI, daughter of the celebrated violinist, was voted Japan's most popular television personality fourteen times. She studied to become an opera singer but then became an actress instead, winning a prestigious award for her work in radio and television. She spent 1972 in New York studying acting, and was critically acclaimed in Japan for her leading role in works by Albee and Shaffer and in Melchior Lengyel's "Ninotchka." Her daily television talk show, "Tetsuko's Room," is still going strong after more than twenty years. Japan's first such program, it was recently awarded television's highest prize. This and the other shows on which she regularly appears all enjoy top viewer ratings.

Devoted to welfare and conservation, Kuroyanagi is Asia's first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador (see Totto-chan's Children and serves on the board of the Worldwide Fund for Nature. The Totto Foundation-financed with her book royalties-provides professional training to deaf actors, with whom Kuroyanagi often appears. Kuroyanagi has twice brought America's National Theater of the Deaf to Japan, acting with them in sign language. She is the author of ten books.

Translator DOROTHY BRITTON, author, poet, and composer, was born in Japan and educated in the United States and England. A pupil of Darius Milhaud, she is well known for her popular Capitol Records album "Japanese Sketches," in which Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's father is violin soloist. Her distinguished translation of Basho's Narrow Road to a Far Province is a classic. She is author of The Japanese Crane: Bird of Happiness and co-author of National Parks of Japan. Her most recent work includes a translation of Princess Chichibu's autobiography, The Silver Drum and Kuroyanagi's Totto-chan's Children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    A wonderful true story about progressive education in 1940s Japa

    A wonderful true story about progressive education in 1940s Japan, witnessed through the eyes of a child who lived it. Kobayashi was ahead of his time and clesarly out of the mainstream of Japanese educational philosophy. He practiced, and his students benefited from, innovative, student-centered learning that we now laud as best practices today. Tetsuko brings this world to life through her experiences as a precocious little girl who is kicked out of one school only to end up in this learning paradise. Her ability to remember so many experiences from those early years, and tell them in such an entertaining way, is remarkable. She also adds serious reflection about Kobayashi's brilliance in the activities he planned that at the time just seemed wildly fun and creative to small child. I would highly recommend it to parents and educators.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    It reminded me of my school :]

    My mom read this book before me because a friend of hers told her that it reminded her of the school I attend. I read it after and I really enjoyed it! I gave it to the principle of my school and she's in the middle of reading it right now. I think so far, she likes it! A great and very cute book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2010

    Wake up inner child!

    This book is sure to wake up the inner child that sleeps within us after being tired down from our daily rushes and stress. While reading the book all of my dreams and ideas as a child flooded my thoughts, and I compared them today's goals. I was reminded that everything was easier and I had more fun working as a child than I do now. After finishing the book I was anxious and it motivated me to work harder to accomplish those dreams I set out to do. I became more aware of life after reading this book and it all thanks to Totto-chan.

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    Future teacher looking for some insight

    At the moment I'm studying to be a teacher to younger children and I was hoping this book could help me remind myself of what kids think education should be like and how things in school are seen through a child's eyes. This book is short but wonderful I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a strange child that is trying their patients. This book just may remind you of how odd you were when you were young.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2004

    exellent

    A teacher in the fourth grade rwad this book to the class .This was 15 yrs ago,I still remeber loving the story .I am purchaseing now to read to my kids.Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2002

    One of my all time favorite books

    I just loved this book. My mom and my aunty read it and told me to read it because they read it when they were little, and I am so glad that I did. Very moving and lovely pictures to go along with the story. I couldn't put it down. =0)

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