おばけのマールとゆきまつり (MA-RU The Ghost & Snow Festival) 

おばけのマールとゆきまつり (MA-RU The Ghost & Snow Festival) けーたろうKe-Tarou なかいれい Rei Nakai  2000s

Text : けーたろう Ke-Tarou 

Illustration:  なかいれい Rei Nakai  

Published : 2006 

Personal recommendation : 3-5 years old and up 

This is another series of MA-RU the ghost and I have reviewed another edition earlier.  The title said “Snow Festival” but this set-up I believe was inspired from famous Snow Festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido. (札幌雪まつり)  As you may or may not know, Sapporo’s Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan are very famous festival in winter and there are usually lots of tourists coming from all over the world/Japan and lots of snow-related events were held to entertain.  If interested, I suggest to google this festival to find out more.   The storyline is straightforward and nicely flow. Very easy to follow for smaller readers. But still gives great lesson on importance of getting help from others and that is the only but certain way for us to get where we want to be.  So, how did MA-RU get their destinations by help from others?  The keyword is to make big snow ball with Chimpanzee !?   Let’s find out how from the storyline! 

  • There was round-shaped mountain near the town and MA-RU the ghost lives on that mountain. One day, he went to visit Lady Chimpanzee. 
  • Lady said “Due to heavy snow, nobody can come to my place”   MA-RU say “Why don’t we go visit them instead?”    As they start walking, they deiced to make snowball and start rolling on the ground to make it bigger and bigger. Afterwards, it got big and stuck and cannot push the snowball anymore. 
  • “Oh, no.  With this snowball in front of Church, we cannot throw wedding!” said the priest.  Priest decided to help them to push the snowball and it gets bigger again as Priest pushes and got stuck. 
  • “Oh no. With this snowball stuck in front of shop, I cannot open the store”  says the bakery owner. Owner/Priest/MA-RU/Lady Chimpanzee pushes snowball and it gets bigger and bigger again and got stuck somewhere.  
  • The, they all heard big horn sound and looked up.  It turns out there was a train. Train said I can smash this snowball to make the way forward, but MA-RU begged “Don’t break. We all made effort to make this big snowball”   Train said “OK then. I can perhaps push instead”  
  • They all march down along with train pushing the snowball and finally they have arrived at the central park in the town.  Apparently, there was Snow Festival going on and lots of sculpture made by snow have been displayed. “Thank God, we were short for snow and glad you brought some” said the staff of festival. 
  • With that snowball, the staff and others made one Gigantic Statue of MA-RU.  (On last page. The picture of happy MA-RU taking nap on top of MA-RU’s shaped Snow sculpture like baby  

As I had reviewed dozens of books so far, but this probably the first book to let me imagine the real (existing) event in our life (=Hokkaido Snow Festival)  Although, it was not explicitly mentioned what this festival is in the book, I am quite certain of it.  For many cases, the set-up/stage of the children’s book is in fantasy world and purposely described in less realistic way so that each reader regardless of country/regions can imagine its personal set-up/stage in the book’s story.   But as I read this book, I felt it is sometimes OK to imply/be inspired from actual existing event/area/location.  True that the imagination of stage set-up may be limited, but this gave some opportunities for parents to talk to their kids “Hey, Do you know we have this kind of snow festival in Japan as real event?” etc.   I believe Kids can enjoy this border of ambiguity between real world and inside-the-book world! 😊  

You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら


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