My dive into the world of Sumikko Gurashi continues with a book I picked up recently – すみっコぐらしの英会話 or Sumikko Gurashi English Conversation. Its an English phrasebook featuring the super cute Sumikko Gurashi characters. As an English educator here in Japan I don’t think its the most useful book for someone looking to practice English BUT for us Japanese learners especially if you are a Sumikko Gurashi nut like me its awesome.
Sumikko Gurashi characters
The book starts with a short description of the main Sumikko Gurashi characters of course;
- Tonkatsu – the port cutlet that’s 99% fat and 1 % meat
- Shirokuma – the polar bear who ran away from the north pole because they dislike the cold
- Penguin? – The penguin who might actually be a Kappa – a demon from Japanese folklore
- Tokage – The cute dinosaur pretending to be a lizard
- Neko – The super shy calico cat who is my favourite
Sumikko Gurashi English – Chapters and audio
The book is split into 5 chapters – hanasu, asobu, taberu, kurasu and yasumi or speaking, playing, eating, living and free time. The real reasons why I think this book is awesome for Japanese learners and makes a great gift is that it uses simple Japanese including kanji that is a great step after learning hiragana and katakana. It also makes a great companion to the 1st-grade unko kanji drill book which I recently completed. It gets even better because not only can you practice reading but you can also practice listening! The book has accompanying audio for each chapter that is fun to listen, even though it has some cringy moments. You don’t even have to buy the book to get the audio. Download and listen here.
Read, Speak, Write and Listen
So if you really want to make this a full Japanese language learning resource you can read the book, speak by practising reading out loud, write the sentences and phrases in the book and listen to the accompanying audio. Are you ganna get this book? Do you like Sumikko Gurashi? Leave a comment below or tweet me @Jamaipanese. Also check out the Sumikko Gurashi game for the Nintendo Switch.