Cover image for Moshi moshi
Moshi moshi
London, Jonathan, 1947-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
A young boy reluctantly accompanies his older brother to Japan, but after spending the summer visiting his pen pal and learning about that country's customs, he is glad that he went.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 28820.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A teen and his younger brother fly to Japan to visit a pen pal. At the beginning, the strange food and the foreign customs make the boys very uncomfortable, but when the time comes to leave, they find that they have had a wonderful experience that will be with them forever. Written with humor and verve and beautifully illustrated, the story is full of Japanese words and customs and culture.

Author Notes

Jonathan London was born a "navy-brat" in Brooklyn, New York, and raised on Naval stations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. He received a Masters Degree in Social Sciences but never formally studied literature or creative writing. He began to consider himself a writer about the time he graduated from college. After college he became a dancer in a modern dance company and worked at numerous low-paying jobs as a laborer or counselor. He wrote poems and short stories for adults, earning next to nothing despite being published in many literary magazines. For some 20 years before he penned his first children's book, London was writing poetry and short stories for adults. In the early 1970s, he was reading his poems in San Francisco jazz clubs, and those experiences found their way into his witty children's book Hip Cat, which has been featured on the PBS children's television show Reading Rainbow.

After writing down the tale The Owl Who Became the Moon in 1989, London began to wonder if other people might want to read it. He picked up his kids' copy of Winnie-the-Pooh and saw that the book was published by Dutton, so he casually decided to send his story to them. Surprisingly enough, they wanted to publish him. Working with different illustrators, and occasionally with co-authors, London has produced literally dozens of books. Most have appeared under his name, but some have come out under a pseudonym, which still remains a secret.He has published over forty books and has earned recognitions from organizations like the National Science Teachers Association.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-10. An exuberant picture book in which an American boy and his big brother, Elliot, visit Japan for the summer to stay with a pen pal, Kenji, they have never seen. The first-person story tells exactly what kids might ask: that when you answer the phone in Japan, you say "Moshi moshi!" and that you can eat eels and drink tea, and sleep on futons on the floor. Although Kenji lives on a mandarin orange farm, the boys stay first with his uncle Akira in Tokyo ("a gadzillion people"), where Akira is a kendo master. They also visit Kyoto, watch beisu boru (baseball) on TV and participate in a tea ceremony and in a summer festival for the dead, where they dance barefoot on the beach. "Everything in Japan [is] so different from here. Yet really the same. It's hard to explain," says our hero, in the natural kid way London has captured so neatly. Miyake's paintings are richly detailed, colorful snapshots of Japanese cities and countryside, with the boys in kendo gear or in yukata (summer kimonos), learning to bow and exchanging gifts. Her clear, unmuddied palette encompasses the green of Kyoto and the countryside, the boys' blue jeans and multihued T-shirts, and the limpid light inside the teahouse and on the beach. A fine, funny, and thoughtful answer to "What's it like to visit Japan?" --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-A young boy from the United States learns about another culture while he visits a prospective pen pal in Japan. Kenji and his Uncle Akira introduce the narrator and his older brother, Elliot, to kendo, the delicacy of eel, the tea ceremony, and the O-bon festival. It is not clear why Elliot or Kenji put up with the narrator, who is unpleasant and just short of being rude throughout most of the book. He refers to his brother as "Idiot" and shows him little respect. Japanese phrases are incorporated into the narrative and most are explained within the text or by context. Miyake's full-color illustrations accurately portray the interior of a Japanese home, the moss garden of a temple, lush rice fields next to the train tracks, and a busy Tokyo street. The biggest difficulty lies in the book's appeal. Traveling abroad and appreciating other cultures might interest older elementary school readers, but the book looks too young for that audience. In addition, London's text is so brief that Japanese culture can only be treated superficially. A disappointing offering.-Robin L. Gibson, Muskingum County Library System, Zanesville, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.