The Mochi Makers

Cover of The Mochi Makers
The Mochi Makers by Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson

By Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson
Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster, 2024
32 pages

Ages 3-7

Emi is making mochi with Obachaan. As the rice cooks, Obachaan tells her granddaughter about bringing the recipe she learned from her mother and grandmother when she came to America from Japan. When they put the rice in the mixer to pound it into a sticky mound, Emi recalls how Obachaan pounded the rice by hand with a wooden mallet when she was young. As they form the sticky rice into small cakes, stuffing some and leaving others plain, “the way Ojichaan liked it,” they remember when Ojichaan tried to help and dropped mochi on the floor. “Not so good at making, very good at eating.” They package mochi for family and friends before sitting down to eat some at a table set with lacquered dishes Obachaan brought from Japan. “Mochi is how we share love. … Mochi is how we pass on our family traditions. … Mochi is how we say thank you. … In our hands, it feels as warm and soft as love.” A deliciously detailed narrative is paired with digital collage illustrations that incorporate the author/illustrator’s family photographs, as well as softly rounded images and a soothing, mochi-like palette full of pinks and golds. An author’s note and recipe follow, while tasty endpapers are dotted with different kinds of mochi in this warmly filling story. ©2024 Cooperative Children’s Book Center