Shoko Aoyagi – Origami Play Essentials – review

24×19cm , 80pp, ISBN 978-4-8054-0320-4

Intriguingly subtitled “Hajimeteno origami asobi for 1, 2 and 3 years old”, this is, to the best of my knowledge, the first origami book aimed at such a young age. Shoko is known and admired for her presentation of simple origami designs and this book includes many of her own designs. The question remains, could a child that young make origami? At 1 year old, my children were more keen on eating paper rather than folding it, but there’s no doubt young children are perfectly able to play with paper. At what point that play becomes “origami” is open to debate, but the book is aimed at parents, preschool teachers and anyone taking care of children.

For those like me who love the simpler end of folding spectrum, the book is packed with delightful models such as a crab, train, dinosaur, bird, cat head, basketball hoop and many more. The colourful diagrams are combined with bright graphics and photos, making it a fun read. The text is Japanese, but not essential for making the models. You can always use the “visual translator” apps to read the introductory paragraphs.

Available from for around £22 (plus postage) or you may feel the book is expensive, but it desrves supporting and sales will give encouragement for it to be translated into English at some point..