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In Barney and the Kitten by Hisako Madokoro we find Barney, a dog who loves adventure, showing kindness and compassion to a little lost kitten. This book is for very young children who will enjoy the unlikely story of a dog helping a distressed kitten to return to its mother. The illustrations are soft and lovely, the vocabulary easy to understand.


The Giving Chair by Yoshiko Kouyama is a simple but profound story of animals who learn to both give and receive. The pictures in this book make it special with shades of browns, oranges and greens. This story is also for young children who will enjoy hearing it read or reading it themselves.


Drawing from Memory by Allen Say is the author’s personal story of how he became a writer and artist. Shunned by his father who did not understand Allen’s artistic ways, this story tells how the author came to appreciate his own place in time, his history and his culture. Say was mentored by Japan’s leading cartoonist, Noro Shinpei, who had a great influence on Say as he grew into his talent and found his identity. This book is a good read for middle school children and tweens.