Japanese picture books for kids giveaway

Japanese Heroes Picture Book of the Day and GIVEAWAY

Do all little boys go through a Ninja phase? I was waiting at PickyKidPix‘s soccer practice and I noticed another little boy, perhaps 3rd or 4th grade, amuse himself by hurling himself at his mom using a series of martial arts moves to play ninja. Unfortunately, his mom was attempting to work from her computer so he had to find another playmate.

To celebrate the ninja spirit with us all, I’ve found a collection of picture books including Japanese traditional folk tales with young heroes. To promote learning about Japan and a Japanese culture, I’m also doing a giveaway of two more books. I would have given away a single book but the number four is unlucky in Japan so I added a Japanese poetry book to bring the total book count up to five. Five is a good number, phew!

Here is my little ninja in a blooper as he attempts to teach himself how to use Nunchucks. (Luckily the handles are made of soft foamy rubber!)

My Picture Book of the Day

Ninja! by Arree Chung

This wonderfully exuberant picture book reminds me of my little boy who, at times, delights in playing ninja games and other feats of martial arts mastery. A little boy pretends to be a ninja, and using common household items such as a jump rope, kitchen rubber gloves, a billiard stick and a paddle with ball toy, attempts his ultimate heist! Will he go undetected? [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Ninja! picture book of the day by Arree Chung

The Last Kappa of Old Japan: A Magical Journey of Two Friends by Sunny Seki

Have you ever eaten a cucumber roll at a sushi restaurant? You might not have realized it, but you were exposed to Kappas! Kappas are mythological creatures in Japanese folk tales who can cause trouble for humans. They are believed to be messengers of the god of water.

This is a Japanese “Lorax” folk tale with a cautionary message about taking care of our earth! A human boy and a young Kappa become unlikely friends and their friendship is tested when the Kappa must move away when industrialization pollutes the boy’s town. Years later, the boy (now a man) calls upon his old friend when his baby falls into a rapidly moving stream.

You’ll have to read this tale to find out how cucumber rolls relate to this story! [folk tale, ages 4 and up]

Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village by Sunny Seki

Have you ever seen a Daruma Doll? Daruma dolls are symbols of perseverance and good luck, and are popular gifts of encouragement. They continue to commercialized at Buddhist temples and are sold all over Japan as reminders for setting and achieving goals.

Daruma doll

This Japanese folk tale tells the story of how a blind Japanese girl came up with the idea for the Daruma doll, and saved her village in the process. [folk tale, ages 4 and up]

Learning About Japan Books for Kids GIVEAWAY

All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More by Willamarie Moore, illustrated by Kazumi Wilds

A wonderful introduction to the culture, history, geography and language of Japan, this book packs it all in with recipes, stories, games and activities. If your child is studying about Japan either at home or at school, this one book can do it all! It’s also the 2012 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award Winner! [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Japanese Nursery Rhymes: Carp Streamers, Falling Rain and other traditional favorites (audio CD included) by Danielle Wright, illustrated by Helen Acraman

I’d pair this book of Japanese nursery rhymes with All About Japan. It comes with an audio CD which is an easy way to expose kids to the Japanese language and culture! Each nursery rhyme is translated in English and Japanese and includes Japanese writing.


To win these two books, please enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Japanese picture books for kids giveaway

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay the postage and handling for my giveaways.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Love that the nursery rhymes book comes with an audio book

  2. Thank you for your wonderful rcommendation for my books! It is my goal to introduce Japanese culture and new folklore to as many people as possible, so I appreciate that you are spreading the good word. Please also check my other book, The Tale of the Lucky Cat.

  3. andie

    I’m not a big fan of Jap. food and I don’t think my kids have tried it. Wouldn’t hurt though.

  4. Amy

    We were in Japan when our daughter was 20 months old and one of her first words was “udon”. Yum!

  5. Jaclyn Reynolds

    My daughter loves dangos! I need to try making them at home sometime!

  6. Wehaf

    My favorite Japanese food is mochi! Yaki soba is pretty good, too.

  7. chickie brwer

    I have never tried Japanese food.. I don’t think my family has also. Although I would like to try Mochi.

  8. I really like miso soup – when it’s real miso soup. I have tried a couple of the packaged versions and have been disappointed.
    maryanne recently posted…STEM Toys: Sphero, the Robot Kids Can ProgramMy Profile

    • Hi MaryAnne,
      I will give a recipe for real miso soup. I just took a cooking class on home style Japanese cooking and she taught me. It IS all about ingredients though, but you can find them in your area. Shaved bonito flakes for the soup base, Japanese miso, kombu (kelp) and wakame seaweed. I have to go on a field trip to find the ingredients here over in Medford or buy them online.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Sphero is Worth Fighting OverMy Profile

  9. lejarie

    Green tea ice cream..a great combination of traditional and yumminess 🙂

  10. KM

    What is your favorite kind of Japanese food to eat? Do your kids like it too?

    Hiyashi somen! We all love it 🙂

    • Hi KM,
      I’m half Japanese so there are so many kinds of food but I especially love Japanese homestyle cooking. We all love ramen from a ramen shop though I’ve never made it. I love Chirashi — a sort of mixed rice sushi bowl. We had family friends who would gift it to us every Christmas and it was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten and have failed to recreate to the same quality.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Sphero is Worth Fighting OverMy Profile

  11. What a great group of books; I’m sure my son would enjoy Ninja.
    I’m thinking… I should look for these books at our library, for a lesson on Japan, this summer. Thank you!

  12. Great selection of books about Japan. We love Japanese books – daughter prefers sushi, we like sashimi.
    Natalie PlanetSmartyPants recently posted…The Week In Review–May 31, 2014My Profile

  13. This is fun collection of books! Thank you so much for linking this wonderful post up to The Sunday Showcase.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted…Children’s Books with a LEGO ThemeMy Profile

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