Issue 1: J-Book Review
In this first hot issue of Chokochoko we cover an awesome Japanese encyclopedia!
great way to enhance your general knowledge of Japanese as well as practising vocab that you have learned up to this point, is to delve into the interesting world of encyclopedias. Now I’m more of a visual oriented person and if you’re like me, you also like books that have pictures, lots of ’em!
Neo Plus Encyclopedia Series
An encyclopedia is nothing more than a detailed dictionary with the occasional image scattered here and there.『図鑑 (ずかん)』is an illustrated encyclopedia and as the name implies, it is rich in illustrations. Usually aimed at children, we Japanese language learners are forgiven and allowed to ‘read’ them. And like I said, I like pictures, lots of ’em!
A popular 図鑑 series is『小学館の図鑑Neoぷらす (しょうがっかんのずかんNeoぷらす)』and covers different subjects such as animals, the human body, science and『くらべる図鑑 (Let’s Compare Illustrated Encyclopedia)』. The book『くらべる図鑑』is an encyclopedia that compares various things such as the world’s fastest, tallest, biggest and smallest. Colorful images and photos show comparisons and commentary explanations are provided for everything.
All that nature and science, sounds difficult
The biggest reward when you’ve been studying a language is to understand it, nothing can be more frustrating than putting so much time and effort in your studies and not being able to understand what is written. Fortunately, since this book is written for Japanese school kids, it isn’t too difficult to grasp. The text is written using fairy simple grammar and the illustrations help further explain the subjects. Beautifully illustrated images cover various topics about our planet divided over 47 themes ranging from the largest animal to the hottest place in our universe.
The book is printed on heavy paper and has a hard cover and is one of those books where you want to own the whole collection and there are about 16 in total of ’em. I really like flipping through the pages, look at the images and curiously read about the sometimes very surprising findings all in this beautiful『くらべる図鑑』.
While this book isn’t the most challenging reading you’ll come across, it is a nice and fun way to learn a whole variety of vocab that you won’t see in a textbook but people generally know. Don’t let the fact that this book is aimed at kids fool you, because of the sometimes scientific nature of the book, all kanji have furigana in case you need to look up words (and I’m sure you will). I’m really happy with this book and like I said, it’s the kind of book you want to own the whole collection of and I’m tempted to whip out my creditcard again and order another one (笑). For anyone thinking of purchasing this book, I hope you will have as much fun reading it as I have buying it (大笑).
Hope you enjoyed this first issue of Chokochoko, THE hottest Japanese learning e-zine on the planet (and beyond)! Your comments, suggestion and ideas are highly welcomed and the space below, aka the Comment Section, is where you can jot down whatever is on your mind or if you just want to talk to me, that’s where you can shout out. Thanks for reading and till next issue!
• title: 小学館の図鑑Neoぷらす•くらべる図鑑
• pages: 127
• dimensions: 26.5 x 22 cm
• extra: none
• language: Japanese
• publisher: 小学館 (www.shogakukan.co.jp)
• order: http://www.amazon.co.jp
• ISBN: 978-4-09-217231-9
• special Chokochoko rating: 85%