a YouTube channel to try + 5 favourite picture books by Japanese authors

Have you seen the YouTube channel Rare Earth by Chris Hadfield and Evan Hadfield?  Click the image for a quite charming introduction:

The first series is set in Japan—there are seven relatively short videos (usually 10 minutes or less)—and series two on Cambodia has just started. I’m sure you’ll find both really interesting.

My family has been watching and loving the Japan series. They're fascinating, sometimes unsettling, always thought provoking. Here's one we liked: 

Also, The Nuclear Tricycle is not to be missed. Here's a comment by Chris:

"The item that left the greatest impression on me in Hiroshima was a tricycle. Owned by a three year old boy killed in the nuclear blast, it serves as a symbol for one of the great tragedies of the modern era.

And while the story may not be all that it seems, I've come to realize that the truth is less important to me than I'd first believed.

[ .... ]

Thanks for watching! You're clearly one of the good ones."

If those videos put you in the mood for all things Japanese—as they do for us—here are five of our favourite picture books by Japanese authors.

P.S. Evan Hadfield, the presenter of the Rare Earth series, is the son of Chris Hadfield, astronaut and author of one of our very favourite new picture books.

The books are linked to their posts or Book Depository—they have great prices and free postage anywhere in the world—but Amazon might be cheaper for North American readers.