Miyuki Yamakita is editor at Chiisana Kagaku no Tomo (Children's Science Companion), a monthly science picture book for four-year-olds published by Japanese children’s publisher Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers, Inc. She takes great pleasure at producing first-age science picture books on insects, plants, water, light and so on. She has a special interest in books about insects that are easy to find in children’s daily life. That is why she often keeps insects in her office and at home—ladybirds and caterpillars right are currently living on her desk—so that she can keep a close eye on them. .
Prior to her position at Fukuinkan, Miyuki worked for Iwasaki Publishing, where she edited story books and picture books created by Japanese and foreign authors.
Miyuki obtained a master’s degree in children’s literature at the University of Warwick in the U.K. and studied picture books under the supervision of Prof. John Stephens at Macquarie University in Australia.
She lives in Tokyo with her husband, her 14-year-old daughter and two dogs. Among her hobbies are travelling around the world and in Japan. She is also a keen musical instruments player. Her most exciting trip was to the Western coast of Australia, where she saw living stromatolites— the algae which are thought to be the first that produced oxygen into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Since its foundation in 1952, Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers, Inc. has specialised in the publications of books for and about children.
In 1953 Fukuinkan launched Haha no Tomo (Mothers' Companion), followed three years later by Kodomo no Tomo (Children's Companion)—those were respectively a monthly parenting magazine and an epoch-making monthly picture book for children. Many popular picture books, including the Guri and Gura series by Rieko Nakagawa & Yuriko Yamawaki, take their roots in those magazines.
The monthly-non-fiction picture book for young readers Kagaku no Tomo (Children's Science Companion) appeared in 1969, bursting on as an innovative product category in the juvenile book arena. Picture books like Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi opened up new possibilities in this field.
Today Fukuinkan publishes seven monthly-picture book collections of both fiction and non-fiction which cater for different age groups. In addition to this, there is one monthly magazine aimed to parents.
Along with the above, Fukuinkan aims to publish a wide range of distinguished children’s books Although Fukuinkan initially focused on introducing internationally-renowned picture books and children's literature to Japanese readers—Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton, The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and My Father's Dragon by Ruth Gannett are just a few examples—the company laalso gained great success with its own original quality books. The Anno's Journey series by Mitsumasa Anno and Kiki's Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono have conquered readers all around the world. The Nature Photography series (non-fiction) also displays a good example of this success.
Visit www.fukuinkan.co.jp for more information.