by Yuko Green
Forty-six characters comprising the Japanese "alphabet" allow English-speaking children (or Japanese youngsters beginning to read and write) to jot down simple words in Japanese — from ahiru (duck) to yubi (finger). 336 ready-to-color illustrations accompany Japanese characters and their English transliteration.
"My First Hiragana Activity Book" teaches the hiragana in the normal order. Each entry takes up a page, and has two blocks to trace over the character, then six blocks for practice. Each character is supported by about nine pictures that start with that character. For example, the first character "ah" is accompanied by the words like "ahiru" (duck), "ame" (rain), "ashi" (foot) and "atama" (head). The English readings are not given for the words, only a picture, which is a useful technique to allow association of that word directly with the image, rather than translating it into English. Although I don't think this was intended by the author, is that the pictures accompanying each character are a perfect size to be cut out of the book and used as flash cards for vocabulary practice. Cut them out and laminate them, and you have a couple of hundred flash cards for a very affordable price!
Ages 5-12; 48 pages; Paperback (8.27 x 0.25 x 10.96 inch)