May 31

Celebrating Asian Heritage Month in Victoria


The Dynamic Kamishibai Duo!

May 7, 2015.  A perfectly fine, sunny day for students from Margaret Jenkins Ecole Primary School to walk from their school to the Oak Bay library where we all gathered in a cozy, private room for a “kamishibai” presentation of my English/Japanese bilingual book, Fly Catcher Boy.<--more-->

After introductions and some personal backstory, we launched into learning a few Japanese words to prepare them for the presentation.  I was pleasantly surprised at how many students knew some Japanese words, beyond sushi!.  Since Fly Catcher Boy has 50+ Japanese words in the story, I promised them they’d be able to leave knowing even more words and phrases.

My sidekick, Braden, also taught English and performed in Japan around the same time I lived there! Accompanied by his guitar, he brought a well-known Japanese song, sung to the tune of Old Macdonald Had A Farm, to entertain the students. The kids eagerly responded when asked to name some of the animal sounds Braden made, delighted they’d guessed correctly.

The hour concluded with a riotous game which involved groups of 4, chopsticks, and plastic flies (think ‘jacks’ or ‘pick up sticks’ if you are old enough).  Teams have 30 seconds to pick up as many flies as they can with their chopsticks.  A team of four girls took home the coveted authentic Japanese Pokemon trading cards.  Parents, teacher, and kids had a good time at the “All Things Japanese Touch Table” where everything on display was thoroughly inspected!


Intense concentration.


Who is this masked boy?

What fun morning!  Many thanks to the Greater Victoria Public Library for inviting me to present and to children’s librarian Devon for hosting us at the Oak Bay Library.  A special “arigato” to the students of Margaret Jenkins for your enthusiasm. We had a great time!


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