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Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen (A Book Review)

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format: Paperback
Pages: 128
Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4

Synopsis
Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker!

She’s also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophiesomething special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before.

But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year’s Day?

Reflection

Thank you to author Debbi Michiko Florence for sending me this book to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Their mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

What an adorable character Jasmine Toguchi is!  She’s a smart and spunky Japanese-American third grader with a fun personality.  I think it’s so great for Japanese children to be able to use the books in this chapter series as mirrors into their own culture.  Other children, like mine, will enjoy using these books as windows to learn a few things about the Japanese culture like how to make mochi.  Mochi is a sticky rice treat that is made into different shapes.  There is a recipe included in the back of the book if you want to try and make it on your own.  We haven’t tried it yet, but I’m so tempted to have our own mochi making party at home or with some friends for a play date!


We enjoyed reading this chapter book aloud at bedtime over the course of two weeks.  The chapters were just long enough to help us squeeze in about 10 – 15 minutes (on average) of read aloud time per chapter.  I think the book is great for early readers (age 7 – 8) to read independently on their own, maybe with a little help from an adult when needed.  It was interesting to learn about some Japanese traditions and to see how Jasmine added her own updated twist to them.  The black and white illustrations were also an added bonus and helped to bring some of the text to life.


This book has themes of: gender biases, family, traditions, sibling rivalry and food.  Definitely one to check out if you’re looking for a fun chapter series for early readers.

More Information About Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book CouncilJunior Library Guild

PLATINUM: Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD: Audrey PressCandlewick PressLoving Lion BooksSecond Story PressStar Bright BooksWorldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone PublishingAuthor Charlotte RiggleChild’s Play USAKidLit TVPack-n-Go GirlsPlum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot BooksCarole P. RomanCharlesbridge PublishingDr. Crystal BoweGokul! WorldGreen Kids ClubGwen JacksonJacqueline WoodsonJuan J. GuerraLanguage LizardLee & Low BooksRhymeTime StorybooksSanya Whittaker GraggTimTimTom BooksWaterBrook & MultnomahWisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-GrandAuthor Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2LaunchBollywood Groove BooksAuthor Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Eugenia ChuAuthor Lesa Cline-RansomeAuthor Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 PublishingDesi BabiesAuthor Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek PressAuthor Judy Dodge CummingsAuthor D.G. DriverAuthor Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl PublishingDebbi Michiko FlorenceAuthor Josh FunkAuthor Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie GlennGlobe Smart KidsAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleAuthor Quentin HolmesAuthor Esther IveremJennifer Joseph: Alphabet OdditiesAuthor Kizzie JonesAuthor Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and MysticPrincesses.comAuthor Karen Leggett AbourayaAuthor Sylvia LiuAuthor Sherri MaretAuthor Melissa Martin Ph.D.Author Lesli MitchellPinky Mukhi and We Are OneAuthor Miranda PaulAuthor Carlotta PennReal Dads ReadGreg RansomAuthor Sandra L. RichardsRealMVPKids Author Andrea ScottAlva Sachs and Three Wishes PublishingShelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah StevensonAuthor Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa TakaokaAuthor Christine Taylor-ButlerNicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. WangAuthor Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm EST.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party-great-conversations-fun-prizes-chance-readyourworld-1-27-18/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

    So, so, so sweet! And wow does it make me miss Japan, and fresh mochi! 🙂
    Jane the Raincity Librarian recently posted…MCCBD – The FieldMy Profile

    January 27, 2018 at 5:53 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    I’ve been waiting to read this and finally got a copy from the library this past week. Looks like such a great transitional reader. I think my 7 year old and I are going to enjoy it. Thank you for sharing!

    January 27, 2018 at 9:07 pm
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