Japanese Culture Introduced by Canadian Senior Author with Bilingual Kamishibai - iPad Edition is also Available

Japanese Culture Introduced by Canadian Senior Author with Bilingual Kamishibai - iPad Edition is also Available

Rebecca Kool is storytelling Kamishibai-style of a Japanese-English picture book “Fly Catcher Boy”.

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 Rebecca Kool, an author living in Victoria, British Columbia, has continued “Storytime” performance “Kamishibai 4 Kids”. She shows a bilingual picture book of her own composition “Fly Catcher Boy” by traditional kamishibai-style (picture-story show). She is gradually expanding sales of the book by the launch of iPad edition last May.

 Rebecca had stayed in Japan as an English teacher for six years from 1994 to 2000. Her co-worker told her that “It is essential to use bilingual picture book for English education to Japanese” and this made her decide to create bilingual picture books. The picture book composed in 2009 is an adventure story with genius boy Kenji, who catches flies by hand, and a cat showing up at his house on rainy day. The book illustrates Japanese culture, such as dining, bath, grand sumo tournament, The Seven-Five-Three Festival to enable readers to acquire simple Japanese phrases and words (written in Roman letters) smoothly in English sentences.

 After its publication, she applied the book to kamishibai-style with her husband Takeshi Fujibe. She started the activity to ‘give an opportunity for English-speaking children to be exposed to Japanese and the culture by kamishibai-style storytelling.’ Her performance at local events, libraries, churches, schools, Cherry Blossom Festival, and Japanese event, Powell Street Festival received favorable comments.

 A high school student Hailey Sabourin, who lives in Kelowna and loves manga, released new edition of the book as manga-style illustrations in 2011. Japanese “Audio glossary” is available on the website to refer to the pronunciation in reading the book. “Read-it-to-me” page-by-page audio is integrated with iPad edition.

 Rebecca insists that “publication of the book took a lot of effort and time at this age, but I think it’s not too late to start what you want”. She also has experience to travel in China, Greece, Indonesia, Singapore, and Mexico. She expressed her wishes, “I’m planning to create picture books which introduce culture for each country as the same bilingual style, like Spanish-English, French-English, and Chinese-English”.

 The book is available on U.S. Amazon site (USD 9.99). iPad edition is on iTune at CAD 2.99.

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)