🥳 Children's Book Club 📚 Next: ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂

Welcome to the Children’s Book Club!

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy children’s books! :smile:

This is a book club focusing on children’s novels around L18-26, perfect for those who want to move on from textbooks and graded readers to native content, but aren’t quite ready for material aimed at adults.

Set thread to ‘watching’ to be notified of future updates! :bell:

Currently Reading

Book Club Selection Process :books:

🇳​​🇴​​🇲​​🇮​​🇳​​🇦​​🇹​​🇮​​🇴​​🇳​​🇸 → ​🇻​​🇴​​🇹​​🇮​​🇳​​🇬 → 🇵​​🇷​​🇪​​🇵​​🇦​​🇷​​🇦​​🇹​​🇮​​🇴​​🇳 → 🇷​​🇪​​🇦​​🇩​​🇮​​🇳​​🇬​

Nomination Phase
  • Nominations can be submitted when the thread title includes [NOMINATIONS OPEN]
  • Use the nomination template below to nominate your desired book.
  • You can nominate as many books as you like, but must wait 1 week between each nomination.
  • The current nominations will be displayed in a nomination list.
  • Only the first volume of a series is eligible for nomination, unless the series can be read as standalone books (such as anthology series), in which case, any volume can be submitted.
  • Ensure your nomination isn’t on the list of Temporarily Excluded Titles (only comes into effect when all 20 nomination slots were filled in the previous voting cycle).
  • A maximum of 20 nominations will be accepted.
Nomination Template

Copy and paste the text below into a reply, and fill out the information for your nomination.

Cover image (optional)
**Title**: Put the Natively link here.
**Available formats**: physical / ebook / audiobook / partial furigana / full furigana (delete as appropriate)
[details="Summary - Japanese"]
Copy and paste the Japanese summary from whichever source you prefer. 
[/details]
[details="Summary - English"]
Check Anilist or similar sites to see if they have an English summary. If not, use a machine translator like DeepL or Google Translate.
[/details]
[details="Content Warnings"]
If you know whether the book contains potentially triggering topics, include the information here.
[/details]
**Reason(s) for nominating:** Share the reason you are nominating this book - it might persuade others to vote for it!
Voting Phase
  • A poll will be held to vote on the nominations.
  • Each person will be allotted 5 votes.
  • The poll will be open for 9 days, from Saturday to Sunday of the following week.
  • In case of a tie for first place, a runoff vote will be held to decide the winner.
  • The lowest-voted 3 nominations (as well as any ties) will be temporarily excluded from the following selection cycle to make room for fresh titles (only comes into effect when all 20 nomination slots are filled).
Preparation Phase
  • A dedicated home thread for the winning book will be posted; all further information and discussion regarding the book will continue there.
  • A poll to decide the start date will be opened, allowing time for people to obtain the book before the club begins reading.
  • A poll to decide on the reading pace will be included, based on how many pages or chapters people want to read every week.
Reading Phase
  • A weekly thread will be posted for discussion on the scheduled reading, usually on Sunday or Monday.
Discussion Guidelines
  • Spoilers should always be hidden using spoiler blur.
  • When discussing a specific section, please mention where you are in the book, ideally by chapter so people reading different versions have a clear point of reference.
  • Feel free to read ahead if it’s exciting, but please refrain from spoiling ahead of the appropriate week.
  • If you have a question about grammar, vocab, cultural things, etc - ask! That’s a welcome part of the discussion too, and other readers will be happy to help.
General Information
  • The book club guidelines are decided by the community based on polls.
  • The book club selection process may be referred to by other names (nomination cycle, voting round), all of which refer to the same series of stages, beginning with the nomination phase and ending with the reading phase.
  • The winning book may be referred to as the book club’s “read”, “pick”, “choice”, etc.
  • The next cycle begins after the reading phase has started; there is usually an overlap between the reading phase and the next nomination phase.
  • If the book is part of a series, only the first volume will be read (but may continue via an offshoot book club).
Previous Votes

Children’s Book Publishers

While there are already many children’s books on Natively, you can explore the websites below to discover even more.

Publishing Imprint Japanese Book Colour Website Amazon Link
Kadokawa Tsubasa Bunko 角川つばさ文庫 green 角川つばさ文庫 Amazon JP
Kodansha Aoitori Bunko 講談社青い鳥文庫 blue 講談社青い鳥文 Amazon JP
Shueisha Mirai Bunko 集英社みらい文庫 yellow 集英社みらい文庫 Amazon JP
Poplar Kimi Novel ポプラキミノベル blue & yellow ポプラキミノベル Amazon JP
Wild Strawberry Junior Bunko 野いちごジュニア文庫 pink 野いちごジュニア文庫* Amazon JP
Shogakukan Junior Bunko 小学館ジュニア文庫 小学館ジュニア文庫 Amazon JP
Four Bunko フォア文庫 ⅏ Amazon JP

* Availability varies by region; can be accessed using a VPN if necessary

7 Likes

Website is ip region locked :pensive:

2 Likes

I’ve borrowed the basic guidelines (edited a little) from the 👨‍❤️‍👨 BL Book Club | Next: 今日からマ王! to make things easier. We can change anything that doesn’t fit this club later. :smiley:

In order to get the ball rolling, you can submit up to 3 nominations (without any waiting periods) in this first round. :+1:

I’ve made a little note. :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Nice!.

There’s definitely some stuff I’d read if it was in a BC, and I even have some physical ones in my TBR that might meet the criteria.

I’ll take a look tomorrow when I have some time.

2 Likes

What does ⅏ mean in the color column for Four Bunko?

It seems to be the style of the border for books that fall into this category - not a color but this kind of spiral doodle around the cover pic. If you click on the Amazon link for that publisher, you can see some examples.

2 Likes

Aaah, I see! That’s really cute!

2 Likes

Title: マジック・ツリーハウス 1 恐竜の谷の大冒険 | L19
Available formats: physical / audiobook / full-furigana

Summary - Japanese

ジャックとアニーは、アメリカ・ペンシルベニア州に住む、なかよしきょうだい。ある日、ふたりは、森の大きなカシの木の上に、ふしぎなツリーハウスを見つける。中で本を見ていると、とつぜんツリーハウスがまわりだし、本のなかの世界へ行ってしまう。ついたところは、恐竜の時代。本物の恐竜たちと、なかよくなったり、追いかけられたり。ハラハラどきどきの大冒険がはじまった。はたして、ふたりは、ぶじに帰れるのか。

Summary - English

Story 1: Dinosaurs Before Dark

Where did the tree house come from?
Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark…or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?

Story 2: Castle of Mystery

Eight-year-old Jack and his little sister, Annie, are playing in the woods during their summer holiday, when they find a mysterious tree house full of books. But these are no ordinary books . . . And this is no ordinary tree house . . .

Jack and Annie find themselves on another adventure - this time they’re in medieval England. It’s exactly the same as the story book - there’s a castle and a banquet and knights on horseback. But when they find themselves locked in a dungeon, Jack starts to wonder if they’ll ever get home again . . .

Reason(s) for nominating: This is a series that will be familiar to a lot of people, and I’ve been wanting to read it for a while (see Magic Tree House Book Club? 🏡, which will be the home thread if it’s picked :rofl:).

At L19, it’s one of the easiest children’s novels on Natively, and there’s also an audiobook available. There are 50 books available in Japanese, each containing 2 stories, so there’s a lot of material if you find it a good level for your current language skills.

There’s also some resources that have been shared in the thread which look useful:

1 Like

:cherry_blossom: Nominations List :cherry_blossom:

.

2 Likes

そして五人
Title: そして五人がいなくなる<名探偵夢水清志郎事件ノート> | L25
Available formats: physical / ebook / full-furigana

Summary - Japanese

夢水清志郎は名探偵。表札にも名刺にも、ちゃんとそう書いてある。だけど、ものわすれの名人で、自分がごはんを食べたかどうかさえわすれちゃう。おまけに、ものぐさでマイペース。こんな名(迷)探偵が、つぎつぎに子どもを消してしまう怪人「伯爵」事件に挑戦すれば、たちまち謎は解決……するわけはない。笑いがいっぱいの謎解きミステリー。

Summary - English

(DeepL) Seishiro Yumemizu is a great detective. It says so on his nameplate and business card. However, he is a master at forgetting things, and even forgets whether or not he has eaten his dinner. In addition, he is lazy and slow-paced. When such a famous (and lost) detective takes on the case of the “Count,” a monster who makes children disappear one after another, the mystery will not be solved … immediately. A mystery filled with laughter.

Content Warnings

None I’m aware of.

Reason(s) for nominating: My Japanese friend told me she enjoyed reading the 名探偵夢水清志郎事件ノート series growing up, and I have a soft spot for kid’s mystery fiction since that was what got me into reading as well. And reading a kid’s mystery book might be good practice for reading adult mystery books!

4 Likes

すみっこ
Title: すみっこ★読書クラブ 事件ダイアリー 1 | L22??
Available formats: physical / ebook / full-furigana

Summary - Japanese

みずから認める、<すみっこ系わき役女子>の和登千秋(わと・ちあき)。中学デビューをめざしていたのに、しょっぱなから風邪でお休み、帰宅部ルーキーに。あまり読書の習慣はないのに、ひょんなことから、友だち100人いそうなイケメンの同級生、本田宗六(ほんだ・そうろく)に、読書クラブ、そして探偵の助手に誘われて--!?本田宗六がシャーロック・ホームズの日本名で、ホームズの助手はワトソン、わたしの名前が「わと」だからって、なぜ私が探偵助手に!?友だち0人の和登の中学生ライフがはじまります!

Summary - English

(DeepL) Chiaki Wato is, by her own admission, a shy, reserved girl. She had hoped to make her debut in junior high school, but a cold forced her to take the first day off, and she became a rookie in the club she went home with. She is not much of a reader, but by chance, a handsome classmate, Soroku Honda, who looks like he has 100 friends, invites her to join the reading club and become an assistant detective…? Why am I an assistant detective just because Soroku Honda is the Japanese name of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes’ assistant is Watson, and my name is “Watoto”? With zero friends, Watoto’s life as a junior high school student is about to begin!

Content Warnings

None I’m aware of.

Reason(s) for nominating: The combination 読書 (reading) and 探偵 (detective) themes sounds fun, and the Sherlock Holmes play on words in the description cracked me up :joy: This series also shares an author with ふしぎ古書店1 福の神はじめました | L23, which I found very fun and engaging for a children’s book.

5 Likes

Title: ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂 1 | L23
Available formats: physical / ebook / audiobook / partial furigana

Summary - Japanese

駄菓子屋があった。路地の壁にはりつくような形の店で、まるで商店街から身をかくしているようだ。だが、店先には、色とりどりの菓子がならんでいるのが見える。真由美は首をかしげた。あんなところに、駄菓子屋さんなんてあったっけ?この道は、もう何百回と通っているけど、あんな店、見たことない…。その駄菓子屋は幸せと不幸のわかれ道。

Summary - English

There was a candy shop. The shop seems to be hidden from the shopping street, as if it is clinging to the wall of an alleyway. However, a colourful array of sweets can be seen in front of the shop. Mayumi tilted her head. Was there ever a candy shop there? I’ve been down this road hundreds of times, but I’ve never seen a shop like that… That candy shop was the dividing line between happiness and unhappiness. (DeepL)

Reason(s) for nominating: This is the first volume of a popular series containing short stories, which sounds like it should be a relatively easy read, especially as the stories follow a similar formula. It was read over on WK a few years ago, so there’s already a vocabulary list and the weekly threads for reference. An audiobook being available is another plus!

4 Likes

Joining. I need the leg-up for book reading I think.

4 Likes

0c275e52e57ca076156048f8e3f0f064b6fea04a

Title: 手ぶくろを買いに/ごんぎつね 10歳までに読みたい日本名作 | L22
Available formats: physical / ebook / full furigana

Summary - Japanese

★★小学生に読まれてシリーズ累計215万部突破★★
お子さんに、お孫さんに、入学やお誕生日のプレゼントに!

[何度も読みたい新美南吉の名作5話を収録]
収録作品・・・『手ぶくろを買いに』『ごんぎつね』『花のき村と盗人たち』『決闘』『でんでんむしのかなしみ』

この本のみどころ・おすすめ

1.オールカラーイラストで、名作がぐっと身近に
1冊に50点以上ものカラーイラストを掲載。お話の世界に入りこむ手助けをします。

2.物語をわかりやすく紹介「物語ナビ」
登場人物や原作者についてなど、物語のイメージがつかめる「物語ナビ」つき。ささっと見返せるので、感想文を書くときにも便利です。

3.小学生向けに、言葉の解説入り
小学生が楽しめるように現代仮名遣いにし、難しい言葉や表現は、注釈で補足しています。

(Source: Amazon.co.jp)

Summary - English

5 short fairy tales for children written by 新美 南吉 (Niimi Nankichi):

  • 手袋を買いに (Buying Mittens): When a cold winter comes to the forest, a little fox awakens one morning to the magic of a first snow-fall. His romp in the snow is cut short, however, when his cold, wet paws turn peony colored. What he needs, his mother decides, are some woolen mittens the size of his little paws. And so begins an overnight journey into the village where humans live…
  • ごん狐 (Gon, the Little Fox): Gon, a mischievous little fox, loves to cause trouble… but one day realizes that one of his pranks had gone a bit too far.
  • 花のき村と盗人たち (Hananoki Village and the Thieves)
  • 決闘 (Duel)
  • でんでんむしのかなしみ (The Sorrow of the Snail)
Content Warnings

Death

Reason(s) for nominating: A while ago I stumbled upon ごん狐, which turned out to be the first story that I read in Japanese that I liked so much that I gave it 5/5 stars on Natively. Despite being a fairy tale for children, neither the writing style nor the content felt childish to me at all.

Since then I’ve been wanting to read other stories by 新美 南吉. And because I’m also a sucker for cute art, this book that collects ごん狐 and four other of his short stories seems like a perfect choice for me!

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extremely cute art to go with the story (check the example images on Amazon).
  • The stories are not connected, so starting late or only reading one or two stories with the club is not a problem.
  • Japanese kids read ごん狐 in elementary school literature classes.
  • …but despite being written for children, at least ごん狐 was very enjoyable for adult me.
  • Full furigana.

Cons:

  • Not all stories are exactly happy, and that might be a bit polarizing.
  • Some language is a bit old-fashioned.
  • A few words usually written in kanji were written in kana in ごん狐, so it’s possible the same is true for this book.
5 Likes

In case anyone wants to avoid paying for an ebook, these are all out of copyright :smile:
手袋を買いに
ごん狐
花のき村と盗人たち
でんでんむしのかなしみ

Sadly I couldn’t find 決闘 anywhere - it’s not yet on Aozora (eligible, though) and no one seems to have put it online elsewhere yet

4 Likes

Title: 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱 (角川つばさ文庫) (Natively Link Pending)

Available formats: physical (discontinued) / ebook / full furigana

Summary - Japanese

「ただの人間には興味ありません。この中に宇宙人、未来人、超能力者がいたら、あたしのところに来なさい。以上」入学早々、ぶっ飛んだ挨拶をかましてくれた涼宮ハルヒ。ビミョーに非日常系学園ストーリー!

Summary - English

Kyon, your typical high school student, has long given up his belief in the supernatural. However, upon meeting Haruhi Suzumiya, he quickly finds out that it is the supernatural that she is interested in; aliens, time travelers and espers among other things. When Haruhi laments about the lack of intriguing clubs around school, Kyon inspires Haruhi to form her own club. As a result, the SOS Brigade is formed, a club which specializes in all that is the supernatural.

Content Warnings

Might contain hard words although the words have been changed in the Tsubasa Bunko edition for making it easier to read

Reason(s) for nominating: I always wanted to read the original material, but it feels a bit daunting at my level, so I think this would be a nice way to test the waters and an entry point.

3 Likes

Would this one be out because of the grading? Although it’s only one user that graded I think, so it’s not a very set in stone one.

1 Like

I overlooked the grading limit. Thanks for the reminder. :see_no_evil:

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Maybe the tsubasa bunko version is okay?

You linked to the non-tsubasa bunko on LN, so the rating might be lower on the other one.

LeNa doesn’t have separate entries for the tsubasa version though… and not sure that just furigana would lower a book by 4 levels. :thinking:

1 Like