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Storytime at the zoo teaches, entertains

by Maho Kawabe

Telling a story with a real message, a new installation at Ueno Zoo’s West Zoo Pocket exhibition space teaches children about the plight of endangered species.

“World Report Exhibition — Ikimonoga Kieru by Mottainai Baasan” uses the title character of the book Mottainai Baasan to talk about the fate of the world’s most at-risk animals. The book series is written by Mariko Shinju and is well known among young children.

Shinju will appear on June 27, from 1:30 p.m. till 2:30 p.m., to read from portions of her picture books and explain how human activities can sometimes unknowingly play a part in contributing to the destruction of some species.

” ‘Mottainai Baasan’ is a familiar and popular book for kids, so they will enjoy seeing the illustrations at the exhibition,” said zoo spokesman Takeshi Iuchi.

2010 is also the international year of biodiversity and it could be a chance for both children and their parents to be more aware of the roles they play on Earth.

“World Report Exhibition” continues till June 30 at West Zoo Pocket, Ueno Zoo, in Taito Ward, Tokyo. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. Admission is ¥600. For details, call (03) 3828-5171 or visit www.tokyo-zoo.net/zoo/ueno