Jimi's Book of Japanese (Katakana) / Peter Takahashi : 3 of 5
I discovered this book on Amazon since it gets great reviews (and keeps popping up as a recommendation), so I decided to give it a shot since my Katakana reading isn't so great (I can read Hiragana pretty quickly, but for whatever reason my Katakana just won't "stick"). The look of the book is irresistible, since it's filled with fantastic color graphics that really have a Japanese kawaii look to them, featuring the little monkey Jimi. Each page is filled with a giant Katakana character (big enough so you can trace it with your finger to help remember it), along with several little cartoons of different vocabulary words. Most pages also have a little paragraph that explains various culture references, too (I wish all of the pages had these!). There are lots of other neat touches, like color-coding the pages for the "K" sounds, "T" sounds, and so on. I don't think it's a miracle book, though - I think it needs to explain more about how English words are broken down into Katakana, but it's still a great presentation of the characters anyway! In fact, it's so colorful and cool that I think I might buy the accompanying Hiragana book just to have in my library.