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Children's Books - 4-8 Years Children's Books - Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths New Titles

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Japanese Folktales

ISBN: 9780578634906
Binding: Hardcover
Author: Kathie Goodale
Illustrator: Dan Murphy, Photographer: Nick Gorski
Pages: 48
Trim: 8.75 x 11.25 inches
Published: 11/01/2022

Silver Medal Award for Multicultural Fiction:Juv, IPPY Award
Gold Winner Finalist: Cover Design, Midwest Book Awards
Gold Winner Finalist: Total Book Design, Midwest Book Awards


These are not your ordinary stories!

Ideal for reading aloud, these stories of monsters, monks, and magical talking animals are guaranteed to delight and engage young children. Surprising, funny, and unusual fables introduce a variety of characters of various temperaments, skills, personalities, and cleverness- characters that can be seen in Japanese miniature carvings called netsuke. Netsuke are an intricate and specialized form of carving, and have existed in Japan for hundreds of years. In this beautiful book, eleven exquisite netsuke carvings come alive for children through vivid storytelling, colorful illustrations and detailed photography. This is a book to read many times.

  • Striking illustrations of nine imaginative stories
  • Plots with twists and turns
  • A variety of characters to engage curious children
  • Large photographs of beautiful netsuke carvings

This book is ideal for children and adults who are interested in:

  • myths, folktales & fables
  • Japanese culture and art
  • reading aloud
  • magical animals
  • characters and behavior
  • a variety of personalities
  • tricksters & cunning
  • monsters
  • friendship
  • good deeds
  • collectibles
  • figurines
  • carving

Kathie Goodale has taught modern dance to children for forty years. She is also a collector of netsuke. This is her fourth children's book.


Dan Murphy is a Twin Cities-based visual artist and musician.


Nick Gorski is a retired commercial and architectural photographer living just outside Minneapolis and St Paul. Now pursuing fine art projects.


"This book is cleverly written and refreshes the imagination. The photography of Japanese carvings inspired by these traditional stories is stunning, and the characters come alive through the storytelling and illustrations." - Toni Pierce-Sands, co-founder and Artistic Director of TU Dance

"These Japanese folktales wonderfully tell of the good, the bad, and the beautiful spirit of human nature; stories that are at once simple and yet deep and insightful. Clever rabbits and boars, a transformational tanuki teapot and a fox impersonating a monk fill these classic stories and pull you into the magical world of Japanese culture." - Rick Shiomi, playwright, stage director, artistic director and taiko artist