World Sight Day--Book Review: Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Did you know Thursday, October 9th is World Sight Day? "World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment." (Source) This year's call to action is "No More Avoidable Blindness".

To celebrate World Sight Day, Tuttle Publishing asked me if I would be interested in reviewing a picture book about a blind girl and how she saves her village and they offered to send me one to giveaway. I of course said yes! So today we review Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll by Sunny Seki.

This story takes place in Takasaki, Japan. Yuko-Chan is a blind orphan who lives at the Daruma Temple. It takes place when Mount Asama erupted around two hundred years ago. The story tells how a young blind girl overcomes her own challenges to help the entire village survive the natural disaster. It is a wonderful fictional story that explains a way the Daruma dolls and their customs came about. 
Source: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi [Public domain],
 via Wikimedia Commons
The Japanese call him Daruma and the Chinese call him Bohidharma. He was a Buddhist Monk who founded the zen sect of Buddhism. It is said that he sat in the meditative position so long that his arms and legs grew numb and fell off. This is why the Daruma dolls have no arms or legs.
Daruma Doll
Source: By Brücke-Osteuropa (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
The tradition of the Daruma Doll is to color in the left eye when you set a goal or make a wish on the doll and then to color in the right eye when the goal is reached or wish has happened. One of Daruma's famous teachings is "If you fall seven times, you must pick yourself up eight times." The doll is a shape that will always eventually land right side up to go with this teaching. The dolls are typically made out of paper mache. There are tutorials on line. We decided to do a simpler version (mostly because Hazel has been home sick and has needed rest). We found the template and idea at the Allen Memorial Art Museum: Arts of Asia in Reach: Bodhidharma/Daruma Doll Lesson Plan. We did the Kindergarten/First Grade craft with construction paper.

Some other Daruma Doll crafts we found are:
For more posts about Japanese culture and book reviews check out any of the posts here.

Now it is time for the giveaway!! Tuttle Publishing sent me two copies of this great book so I could send one to one of my wonderful readers!! Follow My Giveaway Rules. I will send it worldwide!!  To enter just follow the Rafflecopter!! Good luck!! Oh, and I'll have another giveaway tomorrow as well!!