Reading Japanese Children’s Books



Japanese has always been a language that I’ve had a vested interest in. I took Japanese in high school and now it’s my major at university. I absolutely adore the way it sounds, looks and the many pathways and opportunities learning it opens up for me.

Because of this I decided before my daughter was born that I would teach her some basic Japanese too. I started to search online for some helpful resources. I ended up reaching out to my friend in Japan who had previously lived with me in Australia for a year for advice.

She tracked me down five books that I can read to Poppy. We’ve already started reading them and it’s been beneficial to the both of us. For Poppy she enjoys the time we spend together and listening to my voice and for me it’s nice to be able to fluently read a story without stumbling over an unknown kanji.


I particularly like this book titled “こどもずかん くるまとでんしゃ 0さい~4さい” (Kodomo Zukan Ages 0-4) It is a board book which makes it more durable when standing up against a drooling infant. It has multiple categories of items: animals, fruit, vegetables, vehicles, insects, colours, body parts and more. Each item has the word is hiragana and English. The English has the katakana pronunciation underneath it. This is beneficial for Poppy who needs to learn the English words as well.

The other books are also a lot of fun to read. Like I previously mentioned it’s great to be able to read something precisely. Who doesn’t love a story about cooking?

I am hoping that in time Poppy will learn basic Japanese. It’s hard when the only exposure she has is through me and I’m not fluent. Well, we can only do our best.



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