“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Bibliographic Information: Tsunami! Written by Kimiko Kajikawa. Illustrated by Ed Young. Published by The Penguin Group, New York, c. 2009
Lexile Level: 620L
Synopsis: Tsunami! is the story of wise Ojiisan, or grandfather, a respected old rice farmer in a Japanese village. When he senses something is wrong during the village’s celebration of the rice harvest, Ojiisan sets the rice on fire in order to bring all of the villagers up the mountain before a Tsunami hits.
Rational for Classroom Use: This book can be used as an example of a Japanese folktale and can be compared to other Japanese tales, as well as to traditional literature from other cultures. Students can find the moral of the story, that Ojiisan is willing to sacrifice everything in the hopes of saving the villagers, and look for other stories similar messages. This book could also be used in a discussion about why Ojiisan and his grandson Tada respond the way they do to the story’s events.
Common Core Connection:
2.RL.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
2.RL.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.