This post has three major parts: an update on the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, my review and activity for Perfect Picture Book Friday and the winner of the $25 check for International Book Giving Day.
Perhaps I need to give you a treat, as Susanna Leonard Hill does, to give you energy to get through this. In keeping with the Asian theme, I give you a serving of Basmati Rice Pudding with Pineapples and Grapes.
The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) brings together content creators and producers with parents, teachers, librarians, and anyone interested in quality Asian content for children.
According to the AFCC mission statement, “It provides an opportunity for writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, distributors, parents, children, teachers, and librarians to meet, learn, develop their craft, and discover business opportunities.”
The Asian Festival of Children’s Content impacts 1.5 billion children in Asia as well as their parents, professionals, and businesses involved in their development. I’m immensely honored, extremely excited and somewhat nervous to have been invited to speak on two of the panels at the conference this May. In preparation for my trip to Singapore, I’ve been seeking out books by Asian authors and information about the Asian culture.
Today, as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’m sharing The Inch-High Samurai.
The Inch-High Samurai
Retold/translated by Ralph F. McCarthy
Illustrated by Shiro Kasamatsu
Publisher: Kadansha International (1993)
Ages: 4 and up
Self-esteem, believe in oneself, caring about others, inner strength, outward appearances are unimportant, follow your dreams
“In Naniwa, in old Japan, there lived a woman and a man who hadn’t any children, so they spent their days alone.
But every evening, rain or shine, they’d go to Sumiyoshi Shrine and pray for just one tiny little baby of their own.”
A man and a woman’s prayers are answered when their little baby is born. They love and cherish this child although he never grows much taller than an inch. At the age of thirteen, he leaves his family to pursue his dream of becoming a samurai, one of the brave and noble warriors. After sailing to the Capital in a rice bowl, Inchy Bo introduces himself to the Lord of Sanjo and asks to be taken into the household. The Lord of Sanjo’s daughter is entertained, taught and protected by Inchy Bo. In the end, an encounter with a monster provides the means for the hero to realize his dreams.
Why I like this book:
Ralph McCarthy has done a masterful job of retelling/translating this old Japanese folktale. The text is in both English and Japanese…what a wonderful resource! In the spirit of Tom Thumb, the story encourages us to discount outward appearances and look within for a person’s true worth. The illustrations by Shiro Kasamatsu are vibrant and colorful…I’ve always loved Oriental art.
How a parent can use this book:
Children will love this story…the colorful illustrations and lilting rhyme are charming. More than that, this is a story about setting a goal and facing one’s fears. The main character does not wait for success to come to him…he steps up, speaks out and is willing to take risks to get what he desires. This is good advice for all of us.
Find step by step instructions with illustrations for this and many Japanese crafts at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/japan/
Enchanted Learning Software’s
You can wear this origami Samurai hat. Samurai were ancient Japanese warriors.
To make a Samurai hat wearable by a child, you’ll need a piece of paper about the size of a piece of newspaper, about 20 inches (51 cm) square.
|Start by making a square piece of paper. To start making the square, fold one corner of a piece of paper over to the adjacent side.|
|To finish making the square, cut off the small rectangle, forming a square (which is already folded into a triangle).|
|Position the triangle so that the fold (the long side) is on top.Fold one top corner of the triangle over so that it touches the bottom corner.Do the same with the other corner.|
|Fold both of the tips up (fold at the dotted line pictured on the left), so that they go to the top. For the rest of the detailed illustrations, please click on the link above.|
|Fold each of the upward-pointing tips outwards. Fold along the dotted line pictured on the left.|
|There are now two large triangles on the bottom. Fold the uppermost triangle most of the way up over the top half of the hat.|
|Fold the remaining strip of the triangle up and over the top part of the hat.|
|Fold the other large triangle up and into the hat.|
|Decorate your hat with crayons or markers.|
For more origami projects, click here.
Perfect Picture Book Friday…come and join Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who love books and kids.
As promised, we are awarding a check for $25 to a literacy organization in honor of International Book Giving Day. Thank you to all who left comments and nominated their favorite charity…and the winner is…The Nooksack Tribe, nominated by Dawn over at Tales from the Motherland. Please email me at email@example.com to tell me how to make out the check and where to send it. And Dawn, if you think they would benefit from receiving a copy of Show Me How, I’d be happy to send that along as well.
All around the blogsphere, there were posts yesterday about International Book Giving Day and how others were donating books. Reading them restores one’s faith in the goodness of people…check out a few if you have the time. The first link is the one that explains all about this amazing grassroot’s celebration:
No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination! Click this link to purchase a copy
- Tessenjutsu: The Art of Fighting “Japanese” War Fans (lediarunnels27221219.wordpress.com)
- Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2013 (sys-con.com)
- Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Madlenka (clarbojahn.wordpress.com)
- PPBF: Be The Kite…Inspiring Kids to Imagine and Soar (viviankirkfield.wordpress.com)
- PPBF! Poopendous! By Artie Bennett (thiskidreviewsbooks.com)
Great book and wonderful Japanese craft.
My sister lives in Japan and my niece makes beautiful Origami masterpieces. 🙂
Glad you liked it, Tracy! My older son was crazy about Origami when he was younger…it is truly a wonderful and amazing art form.:)
This looks and sounds like a very lovely book! Thanks for sharing!
The story is so sweet and the rhyme is fun…and I love happy-ending folktales.:)
You should really check John Muth’s Zen books (Zen Shorts, Zen Ties and Zen Ghosts). The stories are wonderful and the painted illustrations are pure art.
Great suggestions, Milka…I will check them out…I think I’ve seen one or two and have been to his site.:) They sound like fun!
I love the message, great post Vivian!
Thanks, Catherine! Believe in yourself…we all need to hang that banner up.:)
This story looks charming, Vivian. I love versions of old folk tales. I feel almost certain I’ve read another version of this one… but I can’t remember the title! I’m so glad to have it on the list, and I love the activities as always 🙂
Folktales and fairy tales were my favorite companions when I was growing up.:) Glad you liked my PPBF pick, Susanna…I was thrilled to find a copy of it.
Great post Vivian and I love the book’s message! How exciting that you are going to Singapore! Have you been there before? I’ve never been. Oh, and thank you for the shoutout at the end of your post. You’re very sweet to do so! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Renee…if you have the time, check out Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book page…as I mentioned, she has over 1000 picture book reviews with activities and resources…all categorized…a super resource for parents and teachers.:) No, I’ve never been to Singapore…or anywhere outside the US (other than Canada, Mexico and some of the islands like St. Thomas,etc.). It’s definitely a thrill and an honor.
Thanks for linking to my post! 😀 Great PPBF! I like folktales and Samurai!
Glad you liked the post, Erik! What is really interesting is that each culture has their own folktales…but the basic stories are the same.:)
I see the grandchildren this week, and we’ll be making origami Samurai hats!
That is awesome, Marylin! If you had a copy of this book, you could read it to them.:)
What a great title!
I know, Julie. And the rhyme is amazing…reading it was a great lesson for me.:) And the name of the mc is Inchy Bo…at least that is the translated name…if I could read Japanese, I would know the Japanese name…the book is in both languages.
Just put it on hold!
You will love it, Julie! Clever rhyme and beautiful illustrations.:)
FUN post, Vivian . . . as I read your review, I kept thinking “Tom Thumb.” 😀
Yes, Nancy. It says something about the human race…there are so many different cultures…and each have similar folktales which tells me that underneath all the trappings of difference beat hearts that have a lot in common.:)
Yes! Excellent point. BTW: I liked your treat of basmati rice pudding.
My husband and I went on our first dining-out date to an Indian restaurant in NYC (we lived there at the time)…and it was love at first bite.:) Basmati rice is my favorite type of rice.
Look forward to meeting you at AFCC!
How lovely of you to come and visit…I’m so happy to connect with you before May…papertigers.org is an amazing site…I’m following so I don’t miss any posts…what a great resource your blog is! I also followed on Facebook and Twitter.:)
Hi Vivian! I’m excited to finally meet you! I’m not sure if I’d be moderating one of your panels, but it would be great to meet up here in Singapore. 🙂
I’m excited also, Myra. I’ve heard so much about you…and saw the photos from last year’s AFCC. It’s hard to believe I will really be a part of this wonderful event…but I know it is true because my arm is still pretty sore from the travel immunizations I had to get.:) 🙂 I would LOVE to be able to spend time with you…I love what you are all about and know that I would learn so much:) Perhaps I will be able to attend your sessions…I’m on two panels, but will have the rest of the time to enjoy the rest of the programs.If you have any advice or tips for me, please don’t hesitate to share…I’ve traveled to every state in the US…and much of Canada…but have never been overseas: firstname.lastname@example.org
One more thing, Myra…I saw on the speaker’s list that one of your names id ‘Rhoda’…that is my sister’s name.:)
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