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Japanese Folktale Series 4-6 (iOs) Review

 
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Formats: iOs
 
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8.0
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A peek into a different culture in an easy to read style.

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The morals of the story aren't always easily found - but it provides a great stepping off point for talking with your kids.


Final Fiendish Findings?

For parents looking to expand horizons while building a love of reading, the books in the Japanese Folktale Series offers familiar lessons in a different way. Readers are treated to a look at the traditions of a different culture, presented with colorful illustrations and a convenient format that kids are parents alike will love.

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Posted May 2, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

As parents, we’ve all heard (and likely read) the standard fairy tales roughly eleventy billion times. While there’s a lot to be said for stories like Rumpelstiltskin and Little Red Riding Hood, sometimes you want something just a little bit different. If you add in a love for other cultures and a desire to share them with your little ones, the Japanese Folktale Series are a great way to find some new favorites that your whole family can enjoy.

The Japanese Folktale Series 4-6 is a series of ebooks that are readable on iBooks (through iTunes). Like other ebooks, they are readable on your iOs device by swiping to turn the page, and they read just like any other storybook, with colorful pictures and a small amount of words per page (perfect for young readers or a convenient story time on the go). We took a look at the first three books in the series in a previous review (you can find that here), but today we’re checking books #4-6. Each of them has around fifty pages, but these are quite short pages – about what you’d find in a bedtime story. There are colorful illustrations throughout the stories, done in a traditional Japanese style.

Book number four is entitled The Listening Hood. In this story, a kind old man helps a young fox in the forest, and is soon rewarded for his kindness in spades when the fox’s mother presents him with an old hood. When the man tries the hood on, he realizes it enables him to hear all the animals and plants. This is of great comfort to the lonely old man, and he wears the hood every day, which makes him quite happy. One day, he hears the forest inhabitants talk of rich man’s daughter who has become very ill, and it seems know one knows that the source of the illness is a tree in the man’s front yard. The old man travels to solve the mystery, and though he is rewarded by the rich man, he remains the kind and hard working man he always has been – a good lesson that kindness is its own reward.

In the next story, we meet Princess Hachikazuki (Japanese Folktale Series 5). The daughter of a rich family meets tragedy at the very beginning, as her mother is very ill. The mother prays to her deity that her daughter be well cared for and happy should she die. The deity instructs her to put a pot onto her daughter’s head, if she wishes her to be happy. The mother does just that, and then passes away. Though her father tries to remove the pot, the daughter is unable to be parted with it. The children in the village tease her, the father’s new wife treats her as a servant, and she even becomes homeless – and it seems as though the pot on her head is the source of all her problems. But when Princess Hachikazuki takes a job working for another family, she’ll soon realize that love conquers all – a good lesson in loving who someone is, not just how they look.

In book six, The Mouse Wedding, readers meet a wealthy young mouse family. When the daughter mouse falls in love, her father forbids her to marry any but the most “powerful and graceful creature…worthy to have my daughter’s hand.”  And so begins a quest to find the most powerful creature, beginning with the sun. The sun is overshadowed by clouds, who is overpowered by wind, and so forth. In their trek, the father mouse soon begins to understood that the most powerful creature is not necessarily the biggest or brightest one – and in the end, of course love conquers all.

For parents looking to expand horizons while building a love of reading, the books in the Japanese Folktale Series offers familiar lessons in a different way. Readers are treated to a look at the traditions of a different culture, presented with colorful illustrations and a convenient format that kids are parents alike will love.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)