A Trip to Grandma's House (new picture book)

 

How can the shapes help the family of bears visit Grandma?

Children can enjoy seeing the bears' adventure and the objects made by the shapes in this new picture book that I co-authored with Mari Nakamura (illustrated by Chiiko Watanabe and published by mpi).

 

 

The book can be used by parents or teachers for children to learn the names for shapes and enjoy making their own pictures from shapes.

 

The book includes a CD with narration, rhythm reading and song and can be ordered on these links:

Amazon Japan 

mpi  

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Can We Be Friends? New picture book release

I wrote the newly released picture book for young learners "Can We Be Friends?" (published by mpi and illustrated by Fumie Maejima) together with Mari Nakamura.

 

It is the story of a friendship between a cat and turtle. Can they be friends even though the things they can do are quite different? 

   

Children will enjoy trying out the actions illustrated in the book and following the friendship between the cat and turtle as it develops. It can help young learners of English to understand how to use the "I can.." and  "I can't..." structures and can be used as a basis for many classroom activities if used for teaching.

 

The book includes a CD with narration of the story, rhythm reading and a song.

 

Available from Amazon Japan or mpi

 

 

 

 

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mpi Kids English Tour 2016

The English education company, mpi (previously known as Matsuka Phonics) holds the mpi Kids English Tour each year in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka.
The seminars given during these events introduce many ideas for teaching English and this year Mari Nakamura and I will be holding seminars about introducing Active Learning when teaching children.
Active Learning for young learners of English includes the skills of thinking independently and using language to express ourselves and give presentations. We will demonstrate how these skills can be developed even in young children learning English as a foreign language by using the examples of activities based on 2 picture books.
  
Information in Japanese about the mpi Kids English Tour is written in this article:
The tour schedule is as follows:
Tokyo: 30th October, 13:00 - 16:30 AP Nishi Shinjuku, 4th floor, Room HI
Osaka: 6th November, 13:00 - 16:30 CIVI Kenkyu Center, Shin Osaka Higashi, Room E705 
Nagoya: 16th October, 13:00 - 16:30 IMY Hall, Convention Room
Fukuoka: 23rd October, 13:00 - 16:30 AQUA Hataka, 3F, Convention Room A
東 京 10月30日(日)13:00〜16:30 AP西新宿 4F ルームHI
大 阪 11月6日(日)13:00〜16:30 CIVI研修センター新大阪東 E705
名古屋 10月16日(日)13:00〜16:30 IMYホール 会議室
福 岡 10月23日(日)13:00〜16:30 AQUA博多 3F A会議室
More details and reservations can be made through mpi's website (at present in Japanese only):
There is a 1000 yen discount for the full afternoon of seminars if you reserve by 30th September, 2016.
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Picture book session for future nursery school teachers

On 7th July 2016, I held a special session for students at Jissen Women's University in Hachioji, Tokyo.

Most of these students plan to be nursery school or kindergarten teachers in the future, so they were interested in getting some information about how to use picture books in English to teach children and stimulate creativity and imagination in the classroom.

Apart from reading two of my stories to the students, I gave them some actual experience of games, craft activities, songs and dances related to picture books. They actively joined in all of the activities and were particularly good at the Lily and the Moon dance!

Their regular teacher, Chiyuki Yanase, had already introduced the art of storytelling to the students and after my session the next project that the students will undertake is to plan and make their own stories and present them to local elementary school children.

I thoroughly enjoyed giving the session and the feeling the enthusiasm of the students. 

I'm sure that their stories will be great!!

 

     

 

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Author Talk at KAIS EMS International School

A few weeks ago I gave an author talk and picture-book reading session at KAIS International EMS school in Tokyo on their Career's day.

 http://kaisems.com

 

I read three of my stories to the children: Milkshake Shake, Peter the Lonely Pineapple and Lily and the Moon.

I also talked about the processes involved in writing and illustrating a picture book and brought some of my original artwork for the children to see.

 

  

 

I was very impressed with the questions that the children had prepared for me, such as how long does it take to write a story, how do I get my ideas and if I have a favorite book.

 

The children enjoyed the songs and dances connected to Milkshake Shake and Lily and the Moon and at the end they all made their own "Moon Story" and presented it to the class. It was great fun listening to their stories.

 

  

 

And what a lovely surprise it was to get this hand-written thank you card from the children a few days ago!

 

   

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Picture book event at Gabe Free School

I held a picture book event at Gabe Free School on 24th April.
I read Milkshake Shake, Lily and the Moon and Blue Mouse, Yellow Mouse.
The children had fun making moons and drawing and presenting what they want to see on the moon.

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Four Seasons on the Farm

My latest book, Four Seasons on the Farm, hot off the press!
I tried to capture the joy of the four seasons in the countryside seen through the eyes of children. Chiharu Ban made some beautiful illustrations for the story. This book is in Stage 5 of the Worldwide Kids materials produced by Benesse and includes a CD and animated DVD of the story.
http://www.benesse.co.jp/wk/navigator/stage5/

     

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Narration concert at the Zeneiren Speech Contest finals

I really enjoyed the Ninth All Japan High School English Speech Contest held on 31st January, 2016.
​As the finalists had beaten over 2000 participants in the nationwide preliminary contests, the level of the language and content was extremely high. The topics that the students tackled in their speeches ranged from voting, investment and participation in local community activites, to preserving languages and questions of ethnic and sexual identity.
During the break while the judges were making their final decision, I gave a narration concert with pictures on a big screen accompanied my music. Zeneiren have asked me to give such a concert for the past seven years as it appears to be a good way to calm the tense atmosphere before the results are announced!
This year I narrated one of my stories, "Blue Mouse, Yellow Mouse", and a story written by high school students as an assignment during the high school classes that I taught during 2015. I chose one of the stories that I liked best, written and illustrated by Sana Shibayama and Satoko Oikawa, two students at Kodaira Minami High School. The title is "Henry's Stars" and it is a story of a fish that wishes for the stars.
 
The photos show Sana Shibayama and some of the beautiful pictures from "Henry's Stars".
 
    
  ここに本文を記入してください。
  
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コスモピア英語の絵本クラブ クリスマスイベント東京2015

Cosmopier held a Christmas event on 13th December, 2015
at the Yumeiro cafe in Shin Okubo, Tokyo.
There were three sessions altogether and Erika and I read Milkshake Shake and If You Take  Mouse to the Movies with accompanying dances, quizzes and a craft activity. 
Milkshake Shake If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
The children who particip​ated were really active and I think they had a good time!
Everyone enjoyed making a pasta decoration (tree decoration or necklace!) at the end.
 
  
 
  

 
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mpi Kids' English Tour 2015

mpi (Matsuka Phonics) holds teacher training events each year in major locations throughout Japan.
The presentations during these events introduce many ideas for teaching English to children and how
to use mpi educational materials.
This year the mpi Kids' English Tour 2015 was held in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka during
October and early November; Mari Nakamura gave presentations in Osaka and Fukuoka and I gave
presentations in Nagoya and Fukuoka.
Our presentations were about helping children develop the skills needed in the 21st century (i.e. the 4Cs: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity) based on the example of some lesson contents
and plans using the picture book, Milkshake Shake. As Milkshake Shake has a strong rhythm and rhyme
in the text we also showed how you can use shakers and clapping activities to help nurture a feel for the
natural rhythm and intonation in the English language.
I also enjoyed Izumi Miyashita's presentations on using readers to develop children's literacy
and she gave us many ideas how to help children develop an active interest in reading and
how to improve pronunciation.
                 

  


       
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