Little Chick: A Kamishibai Play From Japan

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Kamishibai for Kids
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Little Chick

Field of Interest/Specialty: Music Education
Posted On: 12/23/2014

Little Chick is a Japanese Kamishibai recommended for children ages 2 to 4. The curriculum set includes all of the cards for the story Little Chick as well as a Teacher’s Guide. There are directions for using the Kamishibai cards on the back of the envelope; you can prop the cards on a table while telling the story or purchase or design your own Kamishibai stage. In addition to the directions found on the envelope, there are also specific directions on the back of each card. The directions tell the storyteller when to show the picture, change cards, change tone of voice, and when to use other vocal special effects. The directions are very clear and easy to follow. The front of each card contains illustrations and is free of words, with the exception of the first card which features a picture of Little Chick and written Japanese.
As the back of the envelope states, “Learning who you are and the importance of being cared for are the underlying themes in this delightful and beautifully illustrated tale for the very young.” In the story, a chick is rescued from a cat by a strong and brave rooster. He tries to imitate the rooster but ends up falling in a puddle. Little chick’s mother pulls him out of the puddle and the story ends as Little Chick realizes that he is okay. While the story is not particularly profound, it could be a great introduction to Kamishibai for young children. The only thing that I did not enjoy about this story was the repeated use of the phrase “You see?” which is repeated on nearly every card.
The story and illustrations are both simplistic. It would be helpful to prepare the children for this Kamishibai by reading a book about Kamishibai such as The Kamishibai Man and discussing this form of Japanese entertainment. After experiencing this story, the teacher could ask the students to identify the different sounds that the animals in the story made. It would be interesting to investigate the different sounds that animals make in the Japanese language. Additionally, older children (after perhaps viewing a more age appropriate Kamishibai) may be able to create their own short story and Kamishibai illustrations or they could create their own illustrations for a short well-loved story. There is additional information in the teacher’s guide for both of these topics.
If you click on the url link in the description, you will find a list of twenty seven different Kamishibai for young children of various ages. There are also many other Kamishibai items for sale on this website.