Kids Review: Words to Make a Friend: A Story in Japanese and English (Donna Jo Napoli & Naoko Stoop)



About This Book:

A clever and innovative bilingual English/Japanese picture book about a Japanese girl and an American girl who prove you don’t need to speak the same language to understand each other.

When a young Japanese girl moves into her new house, she is happy to see a girl her age playing in the snow just outside her window. The only problem is the Japanese girl doesn’t speak English and the American girl doesn’t speak Japanese.

How will these two girls have any fun at all? As it turns out, it’s not that hard when both girls are looking for a friend! What starts with a simple “hello” and “konnichiwa” becomes a day filled with fun in the snow.

Each girl’s love of play, snow, and making a new friend transcends the need to speak the same language, and by using simple words in their own languages, along with a bit of charades, the girls find they have all they need to build a snow creature.

An important book to show children that speaking the same language isn’t a prerequisite to making a new friend.



*Review Contributed by Connie Reid, Site Manager*

Friendship starts with shared experiences
What Worked: A new Japanese friend has moved into the neighborhood. On a snowy day, she goes out and plays with the girl next door. They bond through the fun of playing in the snow and enjoying some refreshments afterward. Each shares the simple words of their language to direct their fun and start their friendship.
Final Verdict: The power of the illustrations conveys their emotions and actions more than the words. This book was not designed to teach an introduction to the Japanese language; however, it does convey the powerful message that we can unite with shared experiences, and friendship can grow. It was a very sweet text that demonstrates the power of play in bringing us together.


*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*