The Last Kappa of Old Japan (2nd Edition 2016)
Angeline "The Skyduster" (2004)
Sunny Seki's Picture Books
"When I was a kid, there was no TV. So I had plenty of time to hear stories from older people about how they lived when they were children. When I traveled, I always made it a point to stay in the homes of farmers or fishermen, who would tell me even more stories.
Later I started to tell these stories to my children at bedtime, modifying the characters or names to match people we knew! I would include some Japanese folklore, but it was always mixed with settings from our home or neighborhood. It is with this same twist that I have created my retellings of Japanese folktales for you. As you read my books, I hope that you will learn more about the folklore of Japan, and that timeless lessons of the past will become very much alive for you today. My goal is to tie a knot between East and West, and Past and Present!"
"In heart-warming traditional folklore style, Sunny Seki weaves a story of the fundamental affinity between all creatures, real and mythical, and the sanctity of our interaction with the physical environment which sustains us.
It is beautifully written and illustrated as a children's book, but has universal appeal for all ages and cultures for the many lessons it imparts, ---some directly, some by inference. Yet, in its basic simplicity, it follows the age-old principle of "doing more, with less". The Last Kappa of Old Japan is essentially a beautiful love story,---without the fluff."
--Yosh, March 2010
"I love your book very much. I've been infatuated with Kappa since my youth. I don't know why I'm so drawn to them but I am, even at 50 years old. Thank you for a lovely story."
"This a beautifully-illustrated Zen Buddhist tale that teaches the young the power of forbearance and compassion, and the immense possibilities we all harbor within us. The illustrations capture the quiet and serene beauty of the Japanese country-side. A recommended title for all school and home libraries."
--Z. Hayes (Texas)
"As a teacher, I look for literature that will support the many cultures of my students. This beautiful folktale is rich in content, beginning with the lesson of triumph over adversity of a little girl, Yuko-Chan, who is blind...but more able than those who become disabled in 'darkness.' She brings serenity, harmony, and financial stability to her village. We are all taught that it is an important survival skill to 'pick ourselves up and dust off' when we fall, so the Daruma Doll that picks itself up when it falls is a charming and clever metaphor of that ethic for children. Sunny Seki's beautifully illustrated story, in both English and Japanese, deserves a place of honor in the annals of children's literature." --J. Feser (California)
"... a bilingual English/Japanese story retelling an ancient Japanese legend about a humble toymaker who cared for an injured cat before its tragic death, and in turn was saved from lightning by the cat's beckoning spirit. To remember his friend, he worked hard to create clay statues of a cat with a raised paw ... The appealing color illustrations add the perfect touch to this wonderful picture book, highly recommended for children's library collections."
-- Midwest Book Review
"This is an excellent book to illustrate what life in ancient Japan looks like. It is extremely well-illustrated with a lot of depth in each of the images. Sunny Seki has done thorough research and brought the story to life. Not only can children learn about this simple tale of kindness and how maneki neko came about, they can also learn about homes, village organization, transport, markets, etc. in the past. This is no doubt an excellent resource for both social studies and English language arts teachers."
--Crimson X, Amazon
Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll (2012)
Kana-chan is a brave, clever girl who works at a hot springs in Fukushima. One day the village faces a big challenge, and because of Kana-chan the kokeshi doll is born. This is a beautiful, emotional story that intertwines the themes of family, hard work, and perseverance. Bilingual text in English and Japanese. 32 pages.
The Little Kokeshi Doll from Fukushima (2015)
"Your book is a treasure. No only do my girls love your books, I believe it is wonderful that there are authors like you putting out such quality literature for children (and adults)!" --F. Ponce
"In Japan the Daruma doll is a symbol for perseverance and resilience as the doll, even when tipped over, always bounces back up. Sunny Seki’s beautifully illustrated book about Yuko-Chan, a blind orphan who is able to scale mountains, fight off burglars, and ultimately save her village is able to bounce back and persevere regardless of the many obstacles that come her way. This book is a truly inspirational story for anyone who lives with or without blindness and serves as a reminder that when life knocks us down we can, like the strong spirit of Yuko-Chan, pick ourselves back up." --S. Ambrose (New Orleans)
"While on vacation I saw your book "Yuko Chan and the Daruma Doll" and noticed a Shiba Inu on the cover. Having a Shiba Inu myself I picked up the book and fell in love! I am currently working on my master degree for special education and created a lesson plan using "Yuko Chan and the Daruma Doll" for a multicultural class I am currently taking. My classmates and fellow teachers thought the book was great!" --A. Koehler
The Tale of the Lucky Cat (2007)
This is the story of a young girl, orphaned during the attacks of September 11, 2001. She leaves New York to live with her grandmother in the desert of Southern California. In a unfolding modern Western fantasy, her adjustment elicits both tears and laughter, as everybody learns the value of acceptance.
Angeline is a limited, commemorative printing of Sunny's very early work.
"This is such a great book! I absolutely love the illustrations and the story. I had always wondered about Japanese Kokeshi dolls and this book shares a heart-warming and interesting story on how they came to be. The story is really engaging and the illustrations add so much depth and emotions to the story - Seki's painted illustrations are works of art! You will see beautiful landscapes, expressive & interesting characters, and you'll be taken on a journey through old Japan leading towards a happy ending! The book is bilingual in English and Japanese, so it is great for people looking to learn those languages. I own several of Sunny Seki's books, and I am so happy to add his newest to my collection. I highly recommend this book to adults and children alike!" --A. Isaac (New York)