Explore Japanese Culture with Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto

Explore Japanese Culture with Megumi's First Trip to Kyoto | Multicultural Kid Blogs

After traveling to Europe last month, my children’s eyes have been opened to the beauty and adventure in world cultures. So upon our return, I’ve been actively seeking tools that help us explore other countries. These tools include books, such as the one below, which teaches Japanese culture and language. If I can’t physically take my children to new countries, I rely on materials like these to help us travel there in our imaginations.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, Multicultural Kid Blogs receives a small commission at no extra charge to you. This review was sponsored by Alexandra Parsons; however, all opinions are the author’s own.

Exploring Japanese Culture

A bilingual children’s counting book, Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto tells the story of a young girl –  Megumi – who is traveling with her grandfather for the first time to Kyoto to celebrate her birthday. On their long train ride from their home town of Sabae, Megumi’s grandfather helps her pass the time by having her imagine ten different things (one for each year she’s lived) that she’ll see on her first visit to the city. The reader learns to count from 1 to 10 in Japanese during the process.

Explore Japanese Culture with Megumi's First Trip to Kyoto | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Author Alexandra Parsons has cleverly woven Japanese words into the story in such a way that their meaning is clear, although she also includes the pronunciation and English words for the reader’s convenience. And at the back of the book, Parsons includes a page dedicated to fun facts about Japan, another page with the numbers one through ten listed in English, Japanese, and even the Japanese symbols for each one. Lastly, she’s added a map of Japan so that young readers can look up how far it is from Sabae to Kyoto.

Explore Japanese Culture with Megumi's First Trip to Kyoto | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Beatrice Favereau’s watercolor illustrations are soft, warm, and engaging for children. But what I love best is how Parsons incorporates culture into the story. From oshiya to bonsai to Hanami, we were fascinated to learn about different Japanese traditions.

Explore Japanese Culture with Megumi's First Trip to Kyoto | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto is such a fun book it is great for any family library, but also for classrooms studying Japan, world cultures, family, grandparents, relationships, travel, Asia, counting, birthdays, traditions, and so much more.

About the Author

Alexandra Parsons is a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar, and this book incorporates various aspects of the Japanese culture that she witnessed and participated in during her visit in 2005. She is an English teacher and Learning Specialist at a private school and lives with her family and two dogs in Florida.

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Monica Olivera is a homeschooling mami of two and freelance education writer. Her website, MommyMaestra.com, shares resources for Latino parents who homeschool or have children in a traditional school system. Monica is also the co-founder of Latinas for Latino Lit and the L4LL Latino Children's Summer Reading Program.

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2 thoughts on “Explore Japanese Culture with Megumi’s First Trip to Kyoto”

  1. Konichiwa! Y Hola! I am a bi-racial Childcare Profesional that speaks Spanish/English. I had the most unique pleasure and experience of becoming an exchange student when I was 16yrs. old(1987) to Japan. I actually rode on the train to travel to Kyoto with my Host Family. I lived there for months and has returned 3 times since! I have an incredible bond with my Japanese family. This article was amazing in so many ways for me! It took me back to Japan! I will be looking for this book to add to my Children’s Library….Arigato/Gracias!

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