I’ve always been a fan of Japanese culture, particularly anime and manga, so when I was given the chance to review the new children’s book “Japanese Folktales for Children” by Ty Hulse, I was excited. Luckily, the book didn’t let me down. I found it to be a refreshing, fun look at traditional stories from a fascinating land.
This storybook collection includes seven different tales from Japan, each unique both in its subject matter and in the delivery. I had already heard a couple of these stories before, such as “Crane Feathers” and “The Yokai”, but even these stories were a little bit different from the versions I had previously read, so it was still an enlightening read.
One thing that I really liked about this book is that it was able to stay true to its Japanese origin without being too confusing for those who might not be familiar with the traditions and cultures represented. The stories are told in a clear, simple manner that makes them easy to follow, even if you have no idea what a Yokai or Kami might be (there is also a ‘Dictionary of Terms’ included in the book which explains the terms that may be confusing or new to you).
The illustrations that accompany the stories are simple, yet colorful. Although the stories would make sense without the pictures, the art adds a visual element that will help children to identify with the characters and plot of each folktale. The illustrations appear to be hand-drawn, which adds a touch of charm and almost gives off a folk art vibe, which is a great fit for the stories being told.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any family that likes fairy tale or folktale collections. This book would also be great for teachers who are trying to broaden their students’ cultural horizons.
For more information about this book, or to read a sample of the available stories, please visit http://zeluna.net/japanese-fairy-tales-children. It should also be noted that the Zeluna website features an extensive collection of fairy tales and folktales from all over the world, some of which can be pretty much impossible to find anywhere else, so make sure you check those out as well!