I am so happy to announce that my book “Let’s Learn Japanese. First Words for Everyone” by Chronicle Books is finally out!

I am really in love with Japanese culture since I was a child so to make this book and to see it published is like a dream for me. 

When my agent, Debbie Bibo, told me that a publisher was interested in the book and that the publisher was Chronicle Books, I was over the moon. 

This is a project that was born during the last year at the MA in Children’s Book Illustration, at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (UK). 

My idea was initially to create a poster that I screen printed at the University print workshop. At that time I was just starting to study Japanese language with my teacher Chie Hosaka, a very talented illustrator, she was also studying at the MA. 

I liked the project of drawing the poster so much, and it was so useful in order to memorise new Japanese words that I started illustrating more and more words and divide them in categories. I drew each colour layer by hand, using just two colours for each category and assembled them digitally using Photoshop. The result was very similar to screen printing. 

I created around 10 different pages, divided by categories, for the final MA show. When the MA was finished, I found my amazing agent Debbie and I showed the project to her. She is very passionate about Japan as well (she is half-japanese) and she was enthusiast about the project, in fact she used an image from the book for her catalogue for Frankfurt Book Fair 2016, where the book found his house at Chronicle Books, thanks to Naomi Kristen that believe in this project! 

The first version of the title was “Gambatte!” that in Japanese means “Go for it!” or “Do your best!”.

The process to create a book like this take a long time and it was an opportunity for me to learn a lot of new things. In particular it takes a lot of time and carefulness to check all the words, that are written in kanji and hiragana, some in katakana and this was done by a Japanese language expert.

This book is printed using a pantone colour as well, which I choose with the publisher to be a very bright green that I really like. 

I hope you will choose this book to start learning Japanese. This is an amazing language with a wonderful sound, so it is really easy to become passionate about it.

You could also use this book during your travels to Japan to have a quick guide to the most important and most used words.

Here it is a short description of the book:

“An accessible introduction to the rich language and culture of Japan, this tote-able Japanese language collection makes an artful addition to any library, as well as an ideal travel primer and companion for aspiring Japanese speakers. Pairing words and characters with whimsical illustrations, each section features examples of word pronunciation, the three main Japanese writing systems (kanji, hiragana, and katakana), and common Japanese elements. At once instructive and a joy to behold, Let’s Learn Japanese is a go-to gift for the world traveler and language learner”.

Soon there will be more news, so stay tuned! 

The poster I screen printed during the MA in Cambridge
Page I drew for the MA show