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5.0 out of 5 stars Reminisce your childhood memories
This book is a true-life account of the author and so I've classified it under the genre of fiction. This heartwarming story tells of the endearing childhood recollections that of the author Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi was nicknamed Totto-chan and this story was set in the era of Japan in World War II.
She was quite a handful as a child, not paying...
Published on July 30 2005

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I like this book a lot
THE PRODUCT ARRIVED EARLIER THAN I EXPECTED, I REALLY LIKE IT BECAUSE THE BOOK IS LIGHT AND CONDITION IS FINE. I RECOMMEND THE BOOK TO PEOPLE WHO LOVE CHILDREN OR ARE HAVING CHILDREN.
Published 17 months ago by sakura


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5.0 out of 5 stars Reminisce your childhood memories, July 30 2005
By A Customer
This book is a true-life account of the author and so I've classified it under the genre of fiction. This heartwarming story tells of the endearing childhood recollections that of the author Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi was nicknamed Totto-chan and this story was set in the era of Japan in World War II.
She was quite a handful as a child, not paying attention in class and disrupting the other students by her quirky actions such as looking out of the window (during class) just to keep a look out for street musicians.
AND, when the street musician did finally passed her class, she gaily invited them to come in to her class much to the annoyance of her teacher. As a result, she was punished, and eventually she was even expelled from that school at *hold your breath* first grade.
So, one can imagine her to be a naughty girl, but what she is really is a curious and creative girl. The headmaster of her NEW school sees that in her because like Totto-chan, the headmaster himself is one creative lad who implemented unorthodox teaching methods for the children.
Just some of the creative teaching methods:
~ children were taught planting by a farmer. Here, the Headmaster also taught the children the value of respecting others by giving credit to the farmer by proudly calling the farmer the student's "farmer teacher"
~ usage of haikus for the students
~ eurythmic whereby children will do their so-called physical fitness leassons with music as accompaniment
~ starting the class with the subjects that the students are comfortable with
In short, this story is a must read for all people irregardless of age, race and gender. Young kids will marvel at the atmosphere of the school and envy Totto-chan for having a wonderful Headmaster who'll do his best to make learning as fun as possible for the students.
For those working adults, this feel good story will make you reminisce yoursweet childhood memories, where life in those days was much simpler sans datelines et al.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The sweetest collection of chilhood memories!, March 27 2004
By 
Respati Maulina (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
The book is enchanting, a tale of a little girl who gained so much lessons in her early years. Despite all of the chaos other people might had at that time (pre-World War II), she could managed to live her life to its full extent. With helps from people around her, in a really simple way, Totto-chan surely got a really beautiful childhood worth to remember for the rest of her life.
This book gave me a new point of seeing my life as it is. This book absolutely will lead you to Totto-chan's world of sincerity and simplicity, make you laugh for its naivette and shed tears for its bittersweetness at a time! It will also tell you about the importance of letting yourself loose in your dreams and efforts to make them come true. It will evoke your spirit to change the world to be a better place to live.
I'll keep this book as a legacy to my future children. I really will. And you should too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgetable timeless story i've ever read!, Oct. 18 2003
By 
Ayu Wulandari (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
It's really a good book! Tetsuko Kuroyangi (Totto Chan) is so impressed by her former unusual elementary school which were classroom trains and its headmaster who taught the students in different ways and had a vision of child's education in different angle. She wants to share her memories, during World War II, to all readers how she and her friends really enjoyed being in that school and how very kind and wise her headmaster was. First day in that school Totto Chan began to like the headmaster for he can be the one she could trust to. Totto Chan also learnt many things in her childhood's life such as happiness, love, curiousity, friendship, appreciating nature and music, separation, and also sadness. It's such an enchanting book for all ages and all times and so inspiring for educators. Thanks to Dorothy Britton as the english translator who successfully maintains the sense of Japanese in the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book, Oct. 11 2002
By A Customer
Totto-chan is a girl.The book talks about her life in her new school,Tomoe. She had been expelled from her previous school at her first grade. Her teacher had complained of Totto-chan disrupting the class. For example, she would open and close the lid of her table with a loud bang many times a day or she would go to the window and invite the street musicians over.
Totto-chan found Tomoe interesting and she liked the school. She met new friends and found that Tomoe always had something new. During lunchtime, the school of about 50 pupils would sit together and sing a song that went:
"Chew,chew, chew it well,
Everthing you eat;
Chew it and chew it and chew it and chew it,
Your rice and fish and meat!"
After that, the headmaster would go around to see whether all the children had brought something from the ocean and something from the hills. Some other activities included "the bravery test" and "trip to a hot spring". They could also stay overnight when they wanted to see the library arrived. There was also a camp that was held at Tomoe and the tents were pitched in the hall.
If you like realistic fiction with adventures and something different from most other books, you might want to try Totto-Chan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can I give it more than 5 stars please???, June 27 2002
By 
Kasey M. Moctezuma "parisgirl" (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I received this book as a gift from a pen pal in Japan about fifteen years ago, and recently found it on Amazon - so I had to buy copies of it for all of my friends. This is a very sweet, simple book and it is also a true story of the author, who is a famous television personality in Japan. The story is written very simply, and it would not be inappropriate for a child, yet not too simplified for an adult. The story begins when Totto-chan, the heroine of the story, is on her way to a new school after being expelled from her old school (she does not find out about the expulsion until years later). The new school is a progressive school which does things in a different way, and treats children differently, teaching them to see the world in a new way. The book is filled with side splitting funny stories, and a few touching ones as well. When you finish reading it, (it won't take long) it will bring a tear to your eye, but make you smile, and make you feel better for having read it. Check it out - I promise you won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book full of love, June 5 2002
By A Customer
This simple, funny, and moving collection of memories of an elementary school in WW2 Japan tells the story of a headmaster's boundless and unshakeable love for children, and of his unorthodox approach to educating them. The author (the grown-up Totto-Chan) was a student in the "classroom train" at Tomoe Gakuen, and is now a popular talk show host in Japan. She has written about the escapades and life's lessons she experienced in elementary school. The simple and ingenuous style affects the reader physically (goosebumps, a lump in the throat, blinking away tears, and things of that nature). The illustrations, which were made years before the book was written, are not just beautiful but also amazingly apt. The translation does not jar - remarkable feat for a book that so liberally recalls haiku, lyrics, and folklore. Besides the headmaster's love for children and Totto-Chan's love for talking, the book is also about the students' love for their headmaster, their deep gratitude for his vision, and the author's efforts perpetuate that vision through her book. This book is for readers of all ages and cultures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books!, March 25 2002
This beautiful, evocative book really gives one a sense of what it was like to grow up in prewar Tokyo. Add to that Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's extraordinary memories of Mr. Kobayashi and the children of Tomoe school, and you have a gorgeous book that will delight adults and children alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all educators, Feb. 7 2002
By 
laroja (Detroit, MI United States) - See all my reviews
Toto-Chan is one of my all-time favorite book. I remember checking it out of my elementary school library 3-4 times every semester. The author proposes an interestine question to us readers: what is normal or abnormal childhood? Here one will be drawn to the vivid portraits of not just children, but perhaps more importantly, those who allow the young to be children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I feel like flying...., Nov. 13 2001
By 
This is a great book. I first heard about it when I read an excerpt from my Primary 6 textbook. Anyway, this book takes you to adventure with Totto-chan, who doesn't realise she was a hyperactive girl. And boy was that fun! This book teaches about freedom, the best education methods and self-esteem...but I don't quite agree that swimming naked infront of people promotes high self-esteem and respect for other people's bodies. But the illustrations are a plus...I would definitely add another 5 stars for them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A simple story that leaves you wishing for more, Oct. 27 2001
I read this story when I was 10 years old, and I cannot imagine 10 years down the road, I enjoy the story as much as I did 10 years ago. I remember smiling when Toto showed her dog her report card, crying when her dog died. The simple language is sufficient to present the thoughts of a little girl, innocent and pure. I love this book, and 10 years down the road, I am going to let my child read it too, and I am sure he/she will enjoy it as much as I do.
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Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window
Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Chihiru Kuroyanagi (Hardcover - Sept. 1982)
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