I'm Learning Japanese!
A Language Adventure for Young People
Christian Galan, Florence Lerot-Calvo
This is a fun and entertaining beginner level children's Japanese language book (9 years old and up) that is also appropriate for adults.
I'm learning Japanese takes a light-hearted approach to the Japanese language by using fun anime–style manga characters to teach Japanese. However, it does not scrimp on content and covers everything from Japanese kanji, kana and grammar to Japanese culture and customs. The book starts out with the main characters, Emily, Nico and Teo sitting on the grass after school, minding their own business, when—unbelievable!—a giant talking fox dressed in a kimono appears. Explaining that he knows magic, speaks 3,000 languages and is respected as a sensei (master), he wonders if the three kids are ready to learn Japanese from him.
During the next 128 amusing pages, the three friends learn to speak Japanese, read Japanese and write Japanese…along with taking breaks to try Japanese hot-spring baths, sumo wrestling, Zen meditation and more. Focusing on exactly what the 9 to 13-year-old learner wants to know, this book is carefully set up to allow them to learn Japanese independently, at their own speed, without an adult's help.
Every page of I'm Learning Japanese! is in full color and the illustrated comic book-approach, with its speech bubbles and funny side remarks, makes the learning seem to fly. It gives preteens a fun grounding in the language and one that's accurate and practical. Nothing they learn here is "watered down" or will ever need to be unlearned, should they continue on with their Japanese language studies in school or later in life.