Sundays are for Book Reviews: Takako and the Great Typhoon

Shisas are everywhere in Okinawa. Originally meant to ward off evil spirits, these little statues can be found on literally every street on the island, bravely standing guard. In Kelly Garcia’s adorable children’s book, Takako and the Great Typhoon a pair of shisa siblings come to life and have an adventure that includes partaking of several island activities and ends with (what else?) a typhoon. The beautiful illustrations by Carmen Daniel capture the feel and rhythm of Okinawa and give life to this sweet story of loyalty and bravery.

I have to credit my mother-in-law with finding this book and ordering two copies for the girls. Written by an American living in Okinawa, I think it would be difficult to find this on the regular Japanese or American book markets, so we were very fortunate that Nana stumbled across this treasure. Even though we only lived on Okinawa for a year, the island will always hold a special place in our hearts because our sweet Emmy was born there. We’re thankful to have such a colorful and fun storybook to share with both of our girls as we tell them about their time half a world away.

This book would be an invaluable addition to any child’s library. With such an entertaining story and wonderful illustrations, your child will be able to experience a new culture without even leaving home. I highly recommend it!

How about you? What are some of your favorite children’s books?

2 thoughts on “Sundays are for Book Reviews: Takako and the Great Typhoon

  1. Pami says:

    My favorite book to read out loud to kids is Tikki Tikki Tembo, and I like to think that they enjoy it, too 🙂 We did an in-class theatrical production of it in 3rd grade, and I've loved it ever since.

    My friends and I had a tradition my sophomore year of college of reading Dr. Seuss's “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?” before major exams for a class we all took. It was a silly way to remind ourselves that it was only a test, not the end of the world.

    I'll stop there – I have a kids' book collection and I could go on forever!


  2. Jennifer Faulk says:

    I love the Llama, Llama books. Didn't even know about them until the girls got “Llama, Llama, Red Pajamas” from the grandparents, and we've enjoyed reading the rest over and over and over again ever since.

    And for those who are interested in another Okinawan children's book (written in English, which means they're few and far between!), you should check out “Miki Mongoose and the Boy from Itoman.” ( I think there are others in the series, and they're all set in Okinawa.


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