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#FoylesFive: Foreign Languages Part Three

21st December 2017


#FoylesFive: Foreign Languages - Part Three

Our knowledgeable Languages Department have put together a great selection of books, to help share the magic of reading in every language. Here are their choices for Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.


Japanese Children's FavouritesTotoroSushi



My Neighbor Totoro by Studio Ghibli
The well known character from Studio Ghibli's anime comes alive in this novel. Full of stills from the movie, this book tells the story of two sisters dealing with their mother's illness, thanks to a creature of the forest. A book of love and magic that will capture the attention of the young ones.
Sushi (bilingual guide) by Kazuo Naygayama
Renowned sushi chef Kazuo Nagayama’s own personal recipes are presented here with exquisitely photographed examples that provide a glimpse into the art of making sushi. In both Japanese and English, this is the ultimate guide on how to make this delicacy.
Japanese Proverbs by David Galef
This delightful compilation of traditional Japanese proverbs will show you the subtleties and wisdom of Japanese culture. Full of quotes and illustrations, it makes the perfect present for lovers of Japan.
The latest work by the most loved Japanese writer of our times. The novel relates the story of an artist living in Tokyo. When his wife suddenly wants a divorce, he goes on a month-long road trip to Hokkaido and Tohoku before settling in a house on the top of a mountain in rural Odawara, where he plans to paint for himself for the first time in years. Not yet translated into English, it's a perfect gift for any Murakami fan.
A collection of many enchanting stories for children. The sparking illustrations by Yoshisuke Kurosaki are a visual treat that accompany the readers. The watercolors bring to life the fascinating tales of fairy cranes, eel catchers, and singing turtles, among many others. 

Chinese Phrase a Day Wild Swans Chineasy


A Chinese Phrase a Day 

This calendar like desk companion is divided into monthly topics and builds upon itself, one day at a time for 365 days. Each page includes four components: the simplified Chinese characters; the romanized Chinese (hanyu pinyin); the English phrase; a related cultural note to put the phrase into context. Audio for all of the 'A Chinese Phrase A Day' entries is available online. A great gift for learners of Chinese that will last them for a whole year.


Heaven Kid

Di Zi Gui (Heaven Kid) is a book and DVD adapted from the teachings of Confucius; a child-specific version teaching the essence of Chinese culture. Introducing Heaven Kid, an original character animation that will help children learn Chinese and understand the culture of such a vast country.


Wild Swans

Through the story of three generations of women in her own family – the grandmother given to the warlord as a concubine, the Communist mother and the daughter herself – Jung Chang reveals the epic history of China's twentieth century.


Tales and Traditions vol.1

Tales and Traditions was specially created to help learners of Chinese, by collecting adaptations and selections from the most well-known works in the Chinese literary and folk canon in a series of convenient supplementary readers.



ShaoLan Hsueh has created a simple system for quickly understanding the basic building blocks of the written Chinese language.

Working with renowned illustrator Noma Bar, she has developed a unique set of illustrations that are engaging and delightful. The books main section introduces the radicals, the key characters on which the language is built and reveals how they can be combined to form a wealth of more complex words and phrases. In fewer than 200 pages, readers of all ages will have made the first steps towards a genuine appreciation of Chinese characters.


Grandma Nafeesa Mystery of the Falcon's Eye Jamilia


My Grandma Nafeesa

Majid's parents are too busy to stay at home with him today but he doesn't mind – he knows he will have a wonderful time with his grandmother Nafeesa who is energetic, fun and always full of exciting surprises. Not only is this award-winning book of lovely, intricate drawings of typical Arab home and street scenes, it offers a positive representation of older people and honours their importance in children's lives. Our most popular Arabic children book this year.


The Mystery of the Falcon's Eye

When seventeen-year-old Ziad comes across an intriguing mystery about his family and their past, he is determined to solve it. With the help of his sister and his friends, he begins a journey full of danger and adventure in which he learns a lot about himself and his roots. This is a rare gem of an Arabic young adult novel - entertaining and fast-paced with some genuinely tense moments but also dealing with serious subjects such as displacement, family responsibilities and the importance of not forgetting where you came from.


Children of the Alley

The great-granddaddy of Egyptian fiction, this epic is possibly the most famous and definitely the most controversial novel ever to be written in Arabic. After its publication the author was stabbed in the neck by an assailant reportedly incensed by his allegory of the Abrahamic prophets and the tyrannical, distant master whose blessings they desperately seek. Despite this, the book is less an attack on religion than a lament about the cruelty of patriarchy and life in an authoritarian state. It's not exactly an easy read, but well worth the effort.



In rural Kyrgystan during World War Two, the lonely and restless Jamilia, whose indifferent husband is fighting at the front, meets Daniyar, an eigmatic stranger recently returned from battle. As much a coming of age as a love story, it is narrated from the unusual perspective of Seit, Jamilia's teenage brother-in-law whose job it is to watch over her. Torn between his duty to protect his family's honour and his joy at the way Jamilia and Daniyar make the world come alive for him, Seit describes their forbidden relationship and the beautiful but unforgiving environment in which they live with sparse but unforgettable detail. A gorgeous and unique little book.


A Thousand and One Nights

When the evil King Shahryar decides to marry a new wife every day then have her killed the next morning, courageous Sheherezade resolves to step up and put an end to his reign of terror. After volunteering to be his latest bride, she beguiles him each night with a series of intricate and unending tales, including Sinbad the Sailor, Aladdin and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. But can Sheherzade win over the crazy king and save her life? A beautifully illustrated retelling of the ancient folktales, aimed at older children.




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