Of the books I bought recently, Little Man loves this series the most. Which is pretty ironic because I expected him to like this the least!
This series is by Japanese author Tatsuya Miyanishi and I purchased them in a set of seven. Lately I realized that I REALLY like Japanese books because they translate better to Chinese due to similar-ish culture. I don’t like English-translated books as much since I can read English and it makes more sense to read it in the original language.
The books in this series stand alone and you can read them in any order. They are very touching tales of family, adoption, and friendship, many of them leaving me a little misty eyed. 😢 BE FOREWARNED that cute dinosaurs DIE in several of the books. At 5 y.o., Little Man does not seem particularly affected and commented that “losing your family is part of life”. I can’t decide if he’s just that pragmatic or he does not fully comprehend the deeper meaning and emotions.
The stories are really moving in a way that most children’s stories are not. It reminds me of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree because my son considers it just a nice story, but I find it completely, utterly heart wrenching. 💔
The illustrations are also surprisingly cute! I was worried Little Man would be scared by the dark illustrations since he spooks easily but he was not.
Given the longer, complex and dark plots, I’ll say that this series is appropriate for older preschoolers to early elementary. If you want to “sample” it before buying, check out the audiobook available for free on XimalayaFM. So far I’ve only found a recording of the book《你看起来好像很好吃》but I sure hope they record the others too!
Where to buy: Hardcovers can be purchased individually on China Sprout. I got mine from Taobao as a set of 7 paperbacks for about $12 USD (shipping to USA cost about $20 USD). Search for “你看起来很好吃” 系列.
Read my Taobao shopping guide if you’re not sure how to order from TB.
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