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Grandpa's Town (Children's Books from Around…
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Grandpa's Town (Children's Books from Around the World: Japan)

by Takaaki Nomura

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Grandpa’s town has not been one on my favorites that I have read recently, however it is still a good book for a few reasons. First, I really like how this book was bilingual. It includes both English and Japanese. For students who are bilingual this could be very useful to see the languages compared side by side. I also liked this book because I really got to learn about the Japanese culture. I was not very familiar with their culture and customs but through this book I was able to learn about their culture. For example, I have never heard of public baths. This is where people go and bathe in front of others in the community. From never hearing of this before, having the nudity of the illustrations and detail of the public bath was a little weird to me. However, it did open my eyes to Japanese customs that I was unfamiliar with before. I thought the message of the story was good too. The big idea was that there is more to people than meets the eye. The grandson thought that his grandpa was lonely in this town until he experienced the town with his grandpa and realized that his grandpa is not lonely and enjoys his life because of the community and people he has befriended. ( )
  Kelli_Via | Mar 1, 2017 |
I loved that this book is a bilingual book. I feel that these types of books are hard to find, especially in Chinese. I feel that this book really portrays the Chinese culture well by showing the different aspects of the town as the child and grandpa walk to the bathing house. I like how the illustrations show the grandpa's town, i feel like it really depicts the Chinese culture as well as the story. ( )
  KellyMiguelez | Oct 3, 2016 |
Grandpa's Town is a sweet book because of how it takes the children on a journey into a different way of life while simultaneously teaching them the importance of their elders. It is about a young boy who spends a day with his grandfather and goes through a day in the life with him, learning about new things that he never thought existed. The young boy Yuuta visits his grandfather after his grandmother dies and hopes to convince his grandfather to move in with his family. The two spend the whole day together and go into town to do the basic chores and shopping that Grandpa always does. Yuuta sees that his grandfather has many friends at the market and other stores. After the day is over, Yuuta sees that Grandpa is not alone and is not even lonely, because of all the friends that he has throughout the town. The main message in this book is to show that there is more to people than meets the eye. Yuuta assumed that his grandfather was lonely because he only knew of his grandmother, but once he spends the day with him, he sees that his grandfather has so many friends throughout the town. Grandpa's Town teaches young children that although our grandparents may look bored and tired a lot, they still have great lives that are filled with fun loving people no matter what age they are. ( )
  Conor_Thackston | Oct 1, 2016 |
I liked this book for a couple of reasons. First, I really liked how the text was written in English as well as Japanese on each page. This was really interesting to able to see the differences between the writing systems. I also found it easy to relate to Yuuta because after my grandmother passed away, I was worried about my grandfather feeling lonely as well. My cousins and I try to spend time with him more often. The only thing I did not like as much was how graphic some of the illustrations were. Some of the pages that describe the public bath include a lot of nudity, which was a little weird to me. ( )
  LBundi1 | Dec 7, 2015 |
In this book, translated from the original Japanese edition, little Yuuta and his mother go to visit Grandpa in his town. He has been living there alone since Grandma died, and they are worried that he is lonely there and want him to come live with them. But Grandpa’s not very interested in the idea, and soon announces he’s off to the public bath and takes Yuuta with him. Along the way and at the bath, Yuuta meets many of Grandpa’s local friends and realizes that his Grandpa isn’t really alone after all.

The illustrations in Grandpa’s Town are in a colorful style reminiscent of wood-block printing and depict daily life in a small Japanese town, a culture that will be largely unfamiliar to Western children. The idea of a public bath in particular is sure to strike children as novel. But the greatest strength of this book is in the relationship between Yuuta and his Grandpa, which is not overly expressive although Yuuta loves his Grandpa and his Grandpa is proud of him. Rather, in the way of many men’s relationships, more is conveyed by the time spent together rather than by the words that are spoken. “Quality time” is important but “Quantity time” is too, especially for boys and their male relatives, and Grandpa’s Town reminds us of this with great eloquence.

Reviewed by Book Dads ( )
  bookdads | Nov 22, 2008 |
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A young Japanese boy, worried that his grandfather is lonely, accompanies him to the public bath.

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