Monday, March 21, 2011

Word of the Week/Chibi: A True Story from Japan

It's time for our Word of the Week feature here at LitLad. Here's how it works: Every Sunday the boys and I read a book from which they pick their favorite-sounding unfamiliar word. They each write the word that night and we try to use it in conversation as much as we can throughout the week. According to The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, "the only words children learn having heard them only once are the words you wish you had never said in front of them."

This week's word is chibi, a Japanese adjective meaning "tiny."

And we're reading Chibi: A True Story from Japan, in which the tiniest duckling is named Chibi: "Among the duck watchers was a news photographer, Mr. Sato, who gave a name to the tiniest duckling. Sato-san named her Chibi... ."

Chibi: A True Story from Japan
Authors/Illustrator: Barbara Brenner and Julia Takaya/June Otani
Publisher: Clarion Books (February 1996)
Source: Public library

Set in Tokyo, Chibi is the true story of a mother duck who settles down in a pool beside a downtown office building to raise her 10 ducklings. The people of Tokyo, including a news photographer named Sato-san, become mesmerized by the family of ducks and come to watch them, rain or shine. When the ducks grow too big for their pool, they venture across a busy highway to get to the moat of the Imperial Gardens. Not long after, a typhoon arrives, keeping the citizens of Tokyo inside and threatening the animals outside. When the storm dies down, Sato-san and others look for the ducks and find that Chibi, the smallest duckling, and two of her siblings are missing. The people worry, especially about their favorite, Chibi, and continue searching until finally Chibi reappears, albeit in an unexpected manner. The book includes a one-page glossary of Japanese words used in the book, such as Oka-san (Mother) and kamo (duck).

Tintin's note: It was very precious. I liked when Chibi was on that floating thingie because it was good to see him come back.

Johnny Boo's note: I like it because it's wonderful. And my name is Chibi now. It made me sad because I was lost. Quack quack.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound


M said...

Love the Word of the Week idea!!

Melissa Taylor said...

this is so timely with everything going on in Japan - I love it, thanks!