Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
on 9 March 2009
I have been studying Japanese for a total of three years now, including one year spend at a University in Japan, so I would not judge my Japanese to be too awful. However, this book really had me struggling. There were large amounts of words that were new to me and regularly the translations were quite vague, so I had to hunt for my kanji dictionary despite the word list at the end of each section if I wanted to make a comprehensive list of new vocabulary for later revision.
Some of the grammar and sentence structure were also very challenging and I found a few of the stories so obscure, that it made me doubt my understanding of the text: A good example of this was the bear that happily started chatting away or the fact that side characters were only referenced by a distinctive characteristic mentioned previously, which lead to an "umbrella" commenting on something which "glasses" responded to.
I am sure someone with the appropriate Japanese level might quite enjoy the book, as it is well written and the stories are quite interesting overall. I would only recommend it though if the reader in question can already comprehend Japanese children's books with ease and has a firm grasp of kanji. Sadly that reader was not me.