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Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen

by Debbi Michiko Florence
Illustrated by Elizabet Vuković

Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017
103 pages
ISBN: (978-0-374-30410-2)

Ages 6-9

Eight-year-old Japanese American Jasmine Toguchi makes her debut in two engaging and lively books for newly independent readers. In Jamsmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen, Jasmine is determined to help make mochi for the New Year, even though she’s only eight and family tradition says girls start when they’re 10. Tradition also says girls and women form the rice into balls after it’s been pounded by the men and boys. When she can’t convince her mom or Obaachan to let her help form the mochi, Jasmine appeals to her dad to help pound it, only to discover it’s a lot harder than she realized. After everything will she fail? In Jasmine Toguchi: Super Sleuth, Jasmine is excited to have her best friend Lizzie joining her family’s Girls’ Day celebration, although it can’t make up for the fact that her big sister Sophie, at 10, doesn’t want to participate. When Jasmine and Lizzie have a fight, Jasmine uses her sleuthing skills to figure out how to make it right, and in the process realizes Sophie isn’t as ready to let go of observing Girls’ Day as she pretends. Jasmine’s terrific first-person voice is so believably 8. So is her behavior. Her reactions to others are rooted in her emotions of the moment, leaving room for her to be surprised when people behave in unexpected ways, and room for her to consider what that means. Both books feature occasional black-and-white spot illustrations. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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