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NP QUARTERLY

December 2018

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Embrace the New Generation through Picture Books - 2018 International Conference on Picture Book Creation and Application to National Park Environmenta

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 The wooden box in the center of the photo is a traditional prop for picture-story performance
The wooden box in the center of the photo is a traditional prop for picture-story performance

The Fruits of Everyday Labor

What was it like for Izuru Shouki to create a picture book? "I think a picture book is not created, but naturally born, "said Shouki, who believes that it is a joint effort between nature and herself. By taking nature to heart during walks and learning about the seasonal changes along the same path throughout the year, one can come to understand the wonders of nature. The creation of a picture book is not an independent process. For example, in her work, Toto Tonton from the Beech Forest about protecting the rich ecology in the northernmost beech forest in Kuromatsunai, Japan, she produced the visual illustrations while the text and editing were the result of team discussion with local residents.

Shouki is currently working as an instructor in the Children's Club, caring for school children after school hours. She often brings the children to neighboring countryside and help them make their own observation booklet. Through the process, she became aware of the difference in which children and adults experience nature, and how the age of children affects their attention and attraction to nature. Therefore, she emphasizes the need to understand what inspires children when helping them create, and to begin with their interest so that they can experience the joy of observing nature. For Shouki, a picture book is a bridge for nurturing feelings toward nature and transmitting to the next generation the concepts of protecting nature. These concepts need not be long and preachy, but to simply bring children back to the early feelings of freedom in nature.

Izumi Haraga explained the feeding habits of lagoon creatures in a fun and interactive way. / Hui- Ying Lui
Izumi Haraga explained the feeding habits of lagoon creatures
in a fun and interactive way. / Hui- Ying Lui
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