I am Me

By Karla Kuskin, Illustrated by Dyanna Wolcott                                                                      (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers ~ in 2000)

On beach day with extended family members, a little girl gets tired to hear their voices as pointing out her body “her mother’s eyes, her father’s hair, and her aunt Jen’s funny little toe… so on”.  And then, she finally declares that “I am positively, absolutely, altogether no one else, but ME!”


“体のどこが母親似、そしてどこが父親似”の会話を、いやと言うほど聞かされて育つのは、子どもにとっては迷惑なこともあるかも知れない。この絵本の主人公である少女は異人種の父と母をもっているが、海辺で一緒に過ごした親戚達から、両親を引き合いにされるだけでなく祖母や叔母も引き合いにされて、、、とうとう少女は皆の前で宣言をした! 楽しいイラストは、少女のハッピーな気分をそのまま表現している。簡単明瞭なメッセージが、力強く伝わってくる絵本。

Boy, You’re Amazing!

 By Virginia Kroll, Illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa                                                                 (Albert Whitman & Company ~ in 2004)

This is to celebrate the talents, accomplishment and potential of boy!  The diversity of boys show all possibility positively with joyful rhymes. >>>The author is a mother of six children, and half of them are boys.  She published more than 50 children’s books.



Yoshiko and the Foreigner

By Mimi Otey Little (Frances Foster Books ~ in 1996)

Based on the experiences of the author’s parents married in 1960.  After WWII in Japan, it’s a kind of social prohibit a young girl talks with a stranger, especially with a foreigner. However Yoshiko has to help an American Air force officer in a crowed Japanese train, because Yoshiko understands English and steps in his necessary assist. That’s the day the author’s father and mother meet as the first time, and their romance begins.



Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic

By Ginnie Lo,@Illustrated by Beth Lo  (Lee & Low Books Inc. ~ in 2012)

Inspired by true family event. Two Chinese sisters arrived in America in 1945 to unite with their Chinese husbands who studied in University, and then two families lived separately in Illinois and in Indiana. But they keep regularly their family traditional gathering. One Sunday of family gathering in Illinois, Auntie Yang discovers soybeans growing in the vegetable field! In that days soybeans are only for cattle in America, but in China it is a favorite food to provide people good protein. That is the starting of Great Soybean Picnic, and this annual event grows among the Chinese-American community. That’s way Soybean culture is established in America.



Johnny Appleseed

Poem by Reeve Lindbergh, Illustrated by Kathy Jakobsen  (Little, Brown and Company  ~ in 1990)

Inspired by the historical story of John Chapman who was born in Massachusetts in 1774. When John Chapman called Johnny became 23 years old, he took some apple seeds and the Bible with him and started his walking journey around the western frontier. He did not carry neither gun nor knife. As loving nature, being friend with animals, and relating with native tribes, Johnny distributed apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him a legend and left a legacy that we still enjoy today.


1774年にマサセッチューに生まれたJohn Chapmanと言う実在人物の話が基になっている。Johnnyと愛称で呼ばれる彼は23歳になると、リンゴの種と聖書を持って旅して歩き、当時の新大陸開拓最前線に、リンゴの木を普及した人である。大自然を愛し、動物を友とし、先住民達とも仲間になった彼は、武器を持つことなく米国東部 (現在では6州)の各地に、貴重な食料源となったリンゴを植林した。米国におけるリンゴ・カルチャーを、正に植え付け耕した人である。200年以上も語り継がれた彼の逸話は多くあるが、ここでは詩の形式で彼の偉業を紹介している。なお、詩を書いたリヴェーは、大西洋単独無着飛行に成功したチャールズ・リンドバーグの末娘である。

The Origami Master

By Nathaniel Lachenmeyer, Illustrated by Aki Sogabe                                                           (Albert Whitman & Company ~ in 2008)

Shima the Origami Master lives alone on a mountain in Japan, but he isn’t lonely.  His beautiful Origami animals keep him company. One morning Shima finds a marvelous    new paper elephant on his desk. The elephant is well done, much better than one he made a day before. The mysterious thing is happened next day as well, and Shima is wondering who can make an Origami better than the Master……and he finds out .



Stone Age Boy

By Satoshi Kitamura (Candlewick Press ~ in 2007)

One day a boy falls down a hole, and an amazing thing happens-when he wakes, he’s in a camp full of people wearing animal skins! The modern boy enters a Stone Age village and learns about prehistoric lifestyle. >>>The author, who lives in London, also published Millie’s Marvelous Hat.


日本生まれでイギリスに渡り海外でも活躍している絵本作家の作品で、Millie’s Marvelous Hat と同 じ Satoshi Kitamura。石器時代に興味を抱いたKitamura氏が実際に南仏の洞窟を訪れて、洞窟画に感動した思いが、この絵本となった。まさに少年が石器時代にタイムスリップした話であるが、石器時代のライフスタイルが詳しく語られ、Kitamura氏らしいイマジネーションの世界に引き込まれる。

Wood-Hoopoe Willie

By Virginia Kroll, Illustrated by Katherine Roundtree                                                 (Charlesbridge ~ in 1992)

Willie is a boy who taps, drums or thumps to express the music he feels inside. His grandfather says in Willie’s heart he keeps a bird called Wood-Hoopoe which has  beautiful colored feathers and a long beak, and he also tells about African Musical Instruments. Willie dreams of playing the African instruments of his ancestor that his grandfather describes.



Career Day

By Anne Rockwell, Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell (HarperCollins Publishers ~ in 2000)

Presenting various jobs by students’ parent/grandparent. On Career Day the students in Mrs. Madoff’s class take turns introducing special visitors. Every visitor has something interesting to share, and together the class learns all about the different work people do.


この絵本の制作者は、母娘のコンピで複数の絵本を制作している。クラスの生徒たちも教師も、Mother’s Dayとのタイトルの絵本とを同じであるが、制作年度はこちらの方が古い。クラスのキャリアデーに、それぞれの生徒が親や祖母のそれぞれの職を紹介している。社会には多様な職業が存在しているが、皆から守られているとのメッセージが伝わってくる。息の合った母娘の作品には、ほのぼのとした温か味が溢れている。

Mother’s Day

By Anne Rockwell, Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell (HarperCollins Publishers ~ in 2004)

Each student in Mrs. Madoff’s class knows just how to celebrate Mother’s Day and  presents it for the other students. And then the kids learn how to make a handmade Mother’s gift with using a button which they bring from home. >>>The author Ann is the mother of the illustrator Lizzy and this is the marvelous team working.