Absolute Beginners Book Club // Started May 1st - Teasing Master Takagi-san // SEEKING NOMINATIONS

Thanks to y’all! I’m really really busy/tired these days so any help is much appreciated!

2 Likes

Proposal

10分で読める物語 二年生

Summary

From product description on Amazon:
小学2年生のための日本と世界の物語、昔話、名作の短編、詩、俳句など13作品収録。2年生が難なく楽しく読めるだけでなく「物語の読み方がわかる」本として、現役の国語科の先生が作品を選定、解説。読み聞かせに、音読に、朝の10分間読書に最適の1冊!
A compilation of fairy tales, folktales, famous short stories, poetry, and haiku, from Japan and around the world, for second graders. A book that’s not only easy and enjoyable to read, but also helps them understand how to read fairy tales. Selections and commentary by current Japanese teachers. The best single volume for reading to your child, having them read aloud, or for 10 minute morning reading!

187 pages
13 stories/poems
some illustrations

Availability


I don’t see an ebook available on Amazon Japan.

Personal Opinion

Fiction would be a nice change of pace after なぜ?どうして? This is at the same reading level, but since it’s a different genre, it will probably use different vocabulary and style. So I think it will be engaging, but not too hard.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Same reading level as previous book
  • Has furigana
  • Stories are unrelated, allowing people to skip chapters if necessary
  • Includes some traditional Japanese stories, so we can learn more about Japanese culture
  • Includes poetry! Up your reading cred instantly!

Cons

  • Less kanji means more difficult to distinguish between homonyms and parse word boundaries
  • No ebook
  • Includes 3 stories that were originally not in Japanese

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One



Table of Contents


Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

6 Likes

i’d like to nominate this book, but am currently at work. So I will edit my post when I am back at home

https://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/collections/japanese-language-books/products/10-pun-de-yomeru-ohanashi-stories-you-can-read-in-just-10-minutes-3rd-grade

What about しろくまカフェ? Could also be at the right level for this club

1 Like

I bought it cause it sounded like it was popular on the other book club, but never got chosen. Flipped through it, yeah, I think we could try add it here.

Original nomination by @fl0rm
Nomination is unchanged from the original =) (I read it over and didn’t see anything that needed changing for this group)

しろくまカフェ
by ヒガ アロハ (Higa Aloha)

Summary
A slice-of-life story about a bunch of anthropomorphic animals who regularly meet in a cafe run by a polar bear. The series focuses on the interactions between these regulars, but frequently follows them to their respective jobs, which includes things like taking up part-time work at the local zoo.

Availability

Appears to have been reissued following its anime adaptation, but someone should independently verify this:

The original release (larger than a typical manga), which I have, appears to be out of print. It’s linked below anyway for reference.

The new edition is available digitally:

Personal Opinion
The setting and characters didn’t have the comedic feel or depth I was hoping for, so I haven’t read past the end of the first volume. That being said, it exudes Japaneseness and catching a pun to understand a joke is satisfying.

If the premise sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll probably like it a lot; if it sounds too surreal for you, as it did to me, at the very least, it’s excellent beginner reading practice.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club
Pros

  • In many ways, this is an easier read than Yotsuba, provided the reader’s vocab isn’t much broader than what WaniKani teaches
  • Stories are generally predictable, assuming familiarity with the animals involved, so the writing isn’t regularly throwing non sequiturs at readers
  • Visuals and dialogue tend to be in very strong agreement
  • Chapters are short
  • Full furigana, except for asides and recipe pages (see first additional image)

Cons

  • Most of the difficulty comes from the wordplay; every chapter includes a scene where a word or phrase is misinterpreted (with a visual aide) four times, and a lot of the jokes may fall flat if you don’t catch the puns
  • The humour is very hit-or-miss, depending on the reader

Pictures
The size of the manga made a few corners a bit fuzzy. You may need to download the files and zoom in.

First Three Pages of Chapter One



Additional Pages

The first one is too big for Discourse, hence the link.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/tpsnZtdyaK9EUV2r6

Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please choose this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

** チーズスイートホーム - Chi’s Sweet Home**

image

Summary
Chi is a michievous newborn kitten who, while on a leisurely stroll with her family, finds herself lost. Seperated from the warmth and protection of her mother, feels distraught. Overcome with loneliness she breaks into tears in a large urban park meadow., when she is suddenly rescued by a young boy named Yohei and his mother. The kitty is then quickly and quietly whisked away into the warm and inviting Yamada family apartment…where pets are strictly not permitted.

Availability
Amazon JP

Kindle

Personal Opinion
It’s a very cute story with a good mix of slice of life. Some parts are very light, but the parents can have some text heavy areas. The cat and child has some specific speaking flaws, similar to Yotsuba, in a mostly predictable way so it is easy to understand what was meant. The adults with their correct language are the more text heavy.

This series is recommended on most lists for beginners of Japanese.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Slice of life
  • Easy language

Cons

  • The meowstakes the cat uses in language

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

2 Likes

This was considered “too easy” in the Beginner Book Club, so moved here instead =)

日本昔ばなしアニメ絵本 18冊全巻セット - Japanese Fairy Tales - Set of 18 books

List of books included

Summary
Classic Japanese Fairy Tales in a beautiful collection of 18 colorful books. Some of the most well known fairy tales from long long ago. Beautiful illustrations and stories as seen in the anime.

Availability
Amazon JP (Link to Book 1, the set is no longer available, but all the books can be found separately)

No eBook to my knowledge.

Personal Opinion
Each book contains a separate Japanese Fairy Tale. These are the Classic Fairy Tales Japanese kids grow up with, and might be referenced or mirrored in other stories like we do with ours. So knowing them might both be interesting and have a value when reading other material.

This is a set of 18 books. We could do the set, or just a book or two.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Interesting Japanese Culture
  • Easy language
  • Uses the Fairy Tale repetition at times, which helps with understanding and learning

Cons

  • Kana heavy, rather than Kanji with Furigana

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

image
image
image
image

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

2 Likes

By the way, how the score works based on the poll?

I’m not sure how they do the calculation based on the poll, but even without it, we get a good indication of what people think of the difficulty.

Do you have 2 sets of Yotauba?

Options are scored so:

1 - no effort at all
2 - minimal effort
3 - just right
4 - challenging
5 - impossible

Then an average is taken of the votes. So for example, three people voting ‘minimal effort’ and two people voting ‘just right’ would give a difficulty of 2.4

2 Likes

I have it both in English and Japanese, so yes. I do the same with most of my favorite mangas (have double all of Naruto, Death Note, Chi’s Sweet Home, Attack on Titan, as well as some shorter ones that have never been mentioned in either book clubs)

That seems like it’s rather hard or close to impossible for people to buy. The amazon page you linked only has a single used copy of the set, and I don’t see it anywhere else for sale. Maybe it can be found in bookoff and the like, but that’s probably not practical for most people.

They are available one and one though, at 380 Yen. So we could use them either as a selection and go through all, or a book or two and only do more if people liked them enough to do more.

I’ll make the amazon link to the first book =)

1 Like

Ask Publishing Graded Readers
レベル別日本語多読ライブラリー レベル0 vol.1

List of books included

Summary
Short stories tailored to foreigners trying to learn Japanese. Level 0 is for people with a vocabulary up to 400, and minimal grammar. Level 1 is 400 - 1500 vocab knowledge and N5 grammar. There are three sets of each level, and we might be able to handle level 2 as well ( 1500-2500, N4 grammar)
Since this is tailored to students of Japanese language, we get easier grammar than any First Grade book, easier vocab use and avoid the “wall of kana” since they use kanji with furigana.

Set 1 has 6 books, 15 pages each. First two are informative (about cherry blossoms and soy), while the last 4 are fictional stories (fun and whimsical, slice of life)

Availability
Amazon JP

No eBook to my knowledge. The eBook version of Graded Readers by White Rabbit are written by same people (I believe they said in the forum), but I can confirm they are not the same stories.

Personal Opinion
Being tailored to beginners they are easy to pick up and read, and give you a great satisfaction of being able to read something completely in Japanese. The stories are quite interesting as well. I like to read again every now and then, as they are easy enough to just pick up and read, and written in a way so you are supposed to pick up new vocab and grammar from context, so I learn more each time even without looking things up.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Includes CD
  • Easy language
  • Tailored to students
  • No wall of Kana
  • 6 separate stories, people can jump in at any time
  • Illustrations tailored even more to comprehension than regular books does

Cons

  • Price. Cost more than mass produced books
  • Lvl 0 Possibly too easy, but this is the absolute beginner :wink: (we can always go higher)

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

White Rabbit Graded Readers

List of available stories




Summary
Short stories tailored to foreigners trying to learn Japanese.
Since this is tailored to students of Japanese language, we get easier grammar than any First Grade book, easier vocab use and avoid the “wall of kana” since they use kanji with furigana. (and the furigana can be toggled too! )

They also promised more stories are on the way, but not sure when they will become available.

Availability
Apple and Android:

No Physical version

Personal Opinion
Being tailored to beginners they are easy to pick up and read, and give you a great satisfaction of being able to read something completely in Japanese. The stories are quite interesting as well. I like to read again every now and then, as they are easy enough to just pick up and read, and written in a way so you are supposed to pick up new vocab and grammar from context, so I learn more each time even without looking things up.

The first two stories are my absolute favorites of anything I have in Japanese, and read them again just cause I enjoy them so much!

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Includes soundtrack
  • Easy language
  • Tailored to students
  • No wall of Kana
  • Separate stories, people can jump in at any time
  • Illustrations tailored even more to comprehension than regular books does
  • The creators are in the forum and listens to feedback and suggestions
  • Furigana can now be toggled (cause we asked for it!)

Cons

  • No physical version

Pictures

First Three Pages of Chapter One

image image

Additional Pages

First page with and without Furigana (to show the difference) The sound can also be hidden with a flick of the finger.

Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I don’t know (please click this if you’re not voting seriously)

0 voters

1 Like

Sounds great! Thank you for proposing this Saruko!

1 Like

All of your nominations break the formatting of the template. I wonder what you’re doing for that to happen every time. :joy:

1 Like

I never got the formatting to work (got a completely broken post… ^^; ), so I just put the elements together without the formatting

Copying and pasting it directly doesn’t work?

That’s what I did. But I messed it up somehow, so gave up and just removed the formatting and kept the elements