Mottainai Grandma

English /Japanese bilingual version

Mottainai Grandma

Mottainai Grandma by Mariko Shinju.
2005 Koudansha in Tokyo, Japan

Please click the cover of the book and go to the publisher's cite, then cilck the cover again.
The inside of the book will be available to look.


Mottainai Grandma is coming!

Leftover food on the plate.

Last grains of rice stuck to the bowl.

She will come and say, "Mottainai!"

"So much food left - mottainai! May I eat?"

munch munch gulp gulp llick lick

"Oh, you have more rice grains sticking to your face. Mottainai!" And she licked my face all over... "Let me lick more!" lick lick lick

splash splash Leaving the water running.

She will come and say, "Mottainai!"

"One cup of water is enough! Don't Waste it - mottainai!"

When I throw away mandarin peels, she will come and say "Mottainai!"

"Dry them in the sunshine. Put them in the bathtub.

Mandarin peels will make you feel so good!"

"A warm and sunny mandarin bath!"




Are you sure you are not doing anything mottainai?

"What do you mean by Mottainai?"

One day I was asked by my child.

How can I explain this word?

There are some Japanese words that cannot be translated into English and Mottainai is the one and is difficult to explain even in Japanese.

This is how I started to think about making this picture story book.

Living in such a rich material world where food and things are fully supplied, it is very hard to find the situation for children to understand the meaning of this word.

I hope that children will find the answer by reading this book that has wisdoms and interesting ideas in order to find it is fun to learn about "Mottainai" situation, I also hope that children can have a concrete and clear image of the situation.

I would be happy, if this book could provide an opportunity to think of the gift from nature or someone, love and compassion, mind to cherish things.

Mariko Shinju