Kobo and the Wishing Pictures
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This multicultural children's book teaches kids about Japanese customs and culture with a fun story about a little boy.
Kobo is a small Japanese boy whose father paints ema, or wishing pictures, for so many customers that he finds no time to paint a single one for his own family—not even for Kobo, who wants one so badly to take to the shrine on Wishing Day. As the customers come and go, Kobo has a chance to observe many types of people and to consider many different kinds of wishes, none of which seems quite right for him.
In meeting Kobo and the many other interesting people in this book, the young reader is introduced to a number of the charming manners and customs of rural Japan, as well as to a number of situations that parallel those experienced by children almost everywhere.
As the author expresses in her introduction: "In this book there are many pictures of ema. We hope that the wishes shown with them, along with the story of Kobo and his family, will bridge customs and culture through our children's seeing that the children of Japan have the same human feeling of affection, of rivalry, of sadness and joy."