Book Shopping

booksgirlLiving in a non-english speaking country presents numerous problems…one of which is being able to see and touch new books before buying them. I really miss visiting bookstores to spend hours browsing in the children’s book section.

I relish the time I have when I’m back home to visit book stores and choose loads of new books to ship back to the library here in Japan. There’s nothing quite like discovering a wonderful new picture book as you while away the hours in sensual delight in a bookstore! Who doesn’t love the smell and feel of a new book?

So how does an expat international school librarian source and buy new books in a country where so few good english and world language books are available?

Stores in Tokyo with English Books

The best places to find a reasonable selection of English kids books are Crayon House in Omote Sando, and Kinokuniya at Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku.  Tower Records in Shibuya also has a reasonable selection.

I’ve also discovered this comprehensive list of bookstores in Tokyo.

Book Review Journals

I eagerly await the arrival of these journals each month/quarter:

Magpies (Australian and New Zealand)

Books for Keeps (UK)

Library Media Connection (US)

Voya (US)

I also visit the websites and blogs for each of these journals and I periodically take a peek at  Horn Book (I skim the current issue online) and Kirkus Reviews (I subscribe to their email update)

For books in languages other than English, this is a good place to start your search.


The old favourites…,,,,  and… just because it’s easy and the reviews are always helpful.

For Australian and New Zealand books, these sites are helpful ….Readings, Pearson, Children’s Bookshop

Follett’s Titlewave

Baker & Taylor

For lots of other links, check my delicious bookmarks for book suppliers


Blogs are a fabulous way to find out about what’s new and what’s happening in the world of kids literature.

There are so many wonderful children’s and young adult literature blogs. A great place to start is KidLitosphereCentral

“The “KidLitosphere” is a community of reviewers, librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, publishers, parents, and other book enthusiasts who blog about children’s and young adult literature.”

Just view the members page and you’ll find links to hundreds of blogs!

I regularly trawl book review blogs and websites from around the world on my netvibes.

A couple of favourites:


Reading Rants

Chicken Spaghetti


If you are looking for manga or graphic novels visit Sealight Books and check out the School Library Journal’s new monthly ‘Good Manga for Kids‘.


You can hear about all kinds of great stuff on twitter. Follow publishers, authors, librarians…all kinds of interesting people and keep up on all the latest on books and more.

Follow me here:


From Canada, for podcasts about children’s books, Just One More Book is a fabulous resource.

There are just so many great resources out there…..and so little time to really enjoy and use them! I need more hours in the day….

Do you have some great resources that you rely on. Please share in the comments!


Seeking, sorting, organising

I am a searcher and an organiser…. I love to bring order to things. “Type A personality”, “obsessive compulsive”….are just a few phrases that spring to mind…..sad isn’t it?

Until recently I was using Pageflakes to create and organise links, but have now discovered Netvibes and love it. I’m still hanging on to Pageflakes because I like that I can create graphics to make it easier for kids to navigate. Netvibes though is the bomb…so easy to create your own internet toy box.

In the beginning…

leanne posterHi…this is where I begin…the first post on my professional blog. I’ve been keeping a personal blog describing life in Japan – ramblings relevant to family and friends about what we are up to on the other side of the world. I thought it was time to create a ‘professional’ blog where I could muse about my life as a school librarian and lifelong learner.

Wow! there is just so much to keep up with, it’s overwhelming….new books, web 2.0, magazines, library management systems, literacy resources, hardware, software, databases, authors, podcasts, library classes, teaching, reading and…. LIFE!  How do we fit it all in??? I ask myself that everyday. It’s hard to prioritise…where do you start? There’s so much I want to learn, know and share….. Hopefully I can bring some sense to it all by reflecting on this blog, learning and sharing as I make my way…

By the way, this picture is one of a series of “read”posters capturing our teachers that I created to promote reading in our school. This is me dressed as guess who?