We went to the library today.
Yes, that sounds pretty ordinary, but it's the first time! For a book-lover like me, most extraordinary. I remember going in once several years ago, asking for the English section, and finding about 12 ESL textbooks. So I gave up. And I did not expect them to have many English children's books, so I have collected quite a library of my own.
But then Joanne went a few weeks ago, and said the did have some English books, and that was in Usa, so surely Nakatsu would have some. So we gave it a try.
I found the English book section had grown and diversified. I got "Japan's Best Short Letters of Love", which is bilingual, so I can use it to practice reading Japanese. And I got several Japanese books - ones with lots of pictures. I remember how I used to read the big, non-fiction books on Mum and Dad's bookshelf, and started out just looking at the pictures, then reading the captions, and then finally the text as I got older. I figure the same system will work for Japanese, and I will start out with books with lots of pictures. So I got one with historical photos, a fashion book that also has English captions, a recipe book (I can pretty much read Japanese recipes) and three children's books - Snow White with furigana, a picutre book for kids with insects and another with water creatures, and a book of the human body with all the parts labelled in kanji, but aimed at kids, so all the readings are provided.
The kids grabbed about 12 picture books in both English and Japanese, including two with CDs, one Japanese one English. I just hope Daddy comes home often enough to read them to them before they have to go back!