I just started a site called Crafting Japanese all about Japanese craft books. It includes links to real life and online bookstores and eBay sellers. Also, I post the projects and pictures everybody has of their books so you can get an idea of which ones you'd like to get. Check the "stuffed animals" category.
"slst to join" means joining the last stitch in the round to the first stitch in the round. Since the chain 3 counts as the first dc, you slst into the third chain to make a complete round. Does that make sense at all? I can take a picture of what I mean if it would help.