In my multicultural family “Nanna time” is a learning opportunity. Called to weekend Nanna duty because of a double dose of parental influenza, babysitting offered a chance to add to my Nihongo vocabulary. I’m only slightly more advanced in my Japanese language studies than my 18-month-old grandson so his innovative bi-lingual word books, with written katakana and hiragana and spoken vocabulary, thoughtfully provided by his Japanese grandparents, are ideal for both junior and senior beginners. My “Japanese kindy” classes brought to mind a friend’s first steps in mastering this challenging language. As a trailblazer in the teach-English-in-Japan-and-learn-Japanese trend over forty years ago he kick-started his studies by enrolling in grade one at a rural school. A local newspaper photograph of the six-foot-two-inch gaijin at his desk alongside his tiny classmates was like the scene of Will Ferrell towering over his elf classmates in that delightful movie.