Theme 3 “Library”
What kinds of libraries have you visited? There are all kinds of libraries in the world of books!
“Library Mouse” by Daniel Kirk
Sam, who lives in the library, reads books every night after the library closes. One night, Sam decided to write his own book…on the next day the book was installed in the bookshelf and the book was picked up…?
“Library Lion” by Michelle Knudsen
A lion came into the library in town. The librarian, Mr. McBee ran to the head librarian office and called “Ms. Merriweather!”. She said the lion is welcome if he is following the rules. The lion sat together with children for story hour. They soon became friends. However, one day…
“Itazura no suki na kenchiku ka” Tadao Ando
The story takes place in the Kobe Childrens’ Book Forest which opened in 2020 and was designed by the world-famous architect Tadao Ando. Ryota and his sister Risa meet a man in black clothes who takes them on a tour. What is this room for? What do architects do? Tadao Ando’s architectural designs are introduced one after another in the illustrations. Readers will be thrilled by Tadao Ando’s first picture book. This book was donated by Tadao Ando through Ms. Kumiko Nakamura.
“Librarian of Basra” by Jeanette Winter
In the spring of 2003, Alia, a librarian in Basra, the cultural capital of Iraq, carried 30,000 books out of the library in one night with the help of her friends to protect the books from being destroyed in the war. The library was burnt down 9 days later. This is a true story based on a New York Times article.
Elementary G5–6, Secondary
“Ban This Book” by Alan Gratz
9-year-old Amy Anne loves to read books in her school library after school. One day, her favorite book is banned as “not appropriate for children.” The decision was made by the head of PTA, Ms. Spencer. Why is it “inappropriate” to read such a great book? In the wake of the book ban, Amy Anne decides to save the book she loves. The books banned in this story are books that, at one time or another, have been banned in libraries in the United States. Our students’ favorite “Captain Underpants” series and the Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” were amongst the books that were banned! Good grief!
“Improbable Libraries” by Alex Johnson
Elephants, camels, telephone boxes, boats, gardens, stations, hotels…anywhere can be a library if there are books and people to read them! This book is a collection of pictures of unique libraries around the world. Associate Professor Kyoko Shibano’s comment on the book’s advertising wrap, “Books that circulate through society enrich our lives in so many ways.” makes a lot of sense!
Theme 4: Summer
What does summer mean to you? The ocean? The pool? Watermelon? Ice cream? Let’s enjoy summer reading books!
“Big Yellow Sunflower” by Frances Barry
This is a story of a sunflower growing from a seed to a bud to a flower. As you turn the pages, a beautiful giant sunflower is revealed. This pop-up book is perfect for summer!
The English version is now hard to find, even second-hand, but the translated version is available online.
“Watermelon Pool” by An Nyeong Dal
It’s opening day at Watermelon Pool. Children rush to the pool with their floats. This imaginative Korean picture book vividly depicts children’s fantasies of a fun summer’s day. There’s a surprise on every page. This is the perfect book to cool you down on a hot summer’s day.
“Umi no Atorie” by Rimako Horikawa
A painting of a girl hangs on the wall of an old woman’s room. “Who is she?” asked her granddaughter. “It’s me,” replied the old woman. The painting is filled with precious childhood memories of one summer week spent with an artist in a studio in front of the ocean. Both the colors and the story are stylish and poignant. This book won the 31st Bunkamura Dumago Literature Award.
“Garigari Kun ga Dekiru Made” by Rumiko Iwasada
This is a documentary novel set in the R&D department of Akagi Nyugyo, the maker of the classic popsicle “Garigari-kun.” The story is based on the events behind the development of this popsicle, including its taste, the design of the packaging, and even the time when the main ingredient, milk, was difficult to obtain. The story provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the development of this iconic product. This book comes along with furigana, making it accessible to readers of all ages!
Elementary G56 Secondary
”Short” by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Twelve-year-old Julia Marks does not like being short. When the local university decides to stage a production of The Wizard of Oz, they audition children from the town for the role of “Munchkin.” At her mother’s suggestion, Julia auditioned for the role with her younger brother. Although she didn’t really want to do it, she passed the audition. It was just the beginning of an unusual summer holiday. This is a heartwarming and funny story, one which KIA students can easily relate to! The author, Holly Goldberg Sloan, is also a movie screenwriter.
“The Friends” by Kazumi Yumoto
Three sixth-grade boys on their summer vacation begin watching an old man who lives alone in an old house on the outskirts of town. Soon they find themselves gradually beginning to develop a rapport with him. At first, it was them watching him, but before they knew it, they were the ones being watched. Little do they know, this will be a summer they will never forget.