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Totto Chan

Age Group: 10 – 12 Years

Title – Totto Chan, The Little Girl at the Window

Author – Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

Kodansha USA

This book focuses on unconventional education and the kind of values it instills in children – a theme explored through the story of a little girl called Totto Chan. The story is set in Japan during World War II and begins with Totto Chan’s expulsion from school. Her mother concludes that what Totto Chan requires is a less stressful school environment where she can thrive, and admits her in a new school, whose Headmaster is the benevolent Mr. Kobayashi. The two connect instantly. The book takes you on an enthralling journey as you are introduced to the friends that the little girl makes. You experience the things that she learns, and see how she becomes a joyful and enthusiastic child. Mr. Kobayashi is the perfect headmaster, tenderly careful of all the children, and nurturing them as if they were his own. The story ends with the bombing of the school, which is never rebuilt. A delightful read, the book takes the reader on a journey of a little girl’s self-discovery. It is a book all children can relate to, exploring as it does the fears and joys that every child feels. For those of us who have forgotten how joyful it is to be a child, this book shows us once again how vibrant the world looks through the eyes of a child. Totto Chan is sure to touch your child’s heart!