Bun-chan's Kamishibai Picks:

"Little Chick"
AUTHOR: Kornei Chukovsky   ILLUSTRATOR: Eigoro Futamata

Little chick wants to grow big and strong like his father so he mimics the rooster, but it backfires and a frog laughs at him. But little chick continues to try, and he builds confidence as he goes along. Children will be able to identify with this sweet story. The card of the father rooster challenging the cat continues in transition to the next card. If you pause on that card for a moment, it is particularly effective.

"The Three Magic Charms"
AUTHOR: Miyoko Matsutani   ILLUSTRATOR: Eigoro Futamata

This is a folktale familiar to all in Japan. The little boy manages to escape a yamanba (mountain witch) by using the three magic charms given to him by the priest. The scary yamanba sets audience's hearts racing and is particularly exciting. It is especially effective to speed up the chase scenes with the yamanba.

"The Mother Cat"
AUTHOR: Kyoko Watanabe   ILLUSTRATOR: Kyoko Watanabe

This is a true story about a mother cat in New York, who saved her 5 kittens from a building fire. Even though the mother cat is exhausted by her efforts, her perseverance is incredibly moving. With this story, it is probably best not to perform it in an exaggerated way but to just express the strength of feeling.

"The Wife with the Unusual Talent"
AUTHOR: Miyoko Matsutani   ILLUSTRATOR: Katsuji Fujita

This is a wildly popular, humorous folktale from Japan. When an old lady asks her daughter-in-law why her face is so pale, she is told that the daughter is trying very hard not to pass gas. But when the old lady says the daughter-in-law shouldn't hold it in, the blast is so strong that it sends the old lady flying. The daughter-in-law is sent home in disgrace, but on the way there, her magnificent farts result in her husband receiving a reward and her triumphant return to her marital home. This is an intensely pleasing ending for audiences. When performing, it is most effective to pull the cards out quickly, each time the main character farts.

"The 101st Tadpole"
AUTHOR: Satoshi Kako   ILLUSTRATOR: Michiko Nakagawa

The 101st tadpole is a bit of a rascal. He gets lost when all his brothers and sisters go on an outing with their mother. When his mother goes looking for him, she gets caught up in a conflict with a giant water bug and a crayfish and loses consciousness. The 101 tadpoles all think their mother is dead and so they all cry out to her as loudly as they can. This brings her back to consciousness, and they all return safely home. When performing this story, it is effective to exaggerate the wickedness of the water bug and crayfish, and also to cry out as loud as possible when calling for the mother frog.

Kamishibai for Kids ~ Cathedral Station ~ PO Box 629 ~ New York, NY 10025
Tel: 212-663-2471 ~ kamishi@kamishibai.com