Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen

FLORENCE, Debbi Michiko. illus. by Elizabet Vukovic. 128p. Farrar. Jul. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780374304102; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780374308346.
Gr 1–3–Jasmine Toguchi is anticipating the arrival of her family members for the New Year in sunny Los Angeles. Every year to celebrate, Jasmine's relatives spend all day making mochi, Japanese sweet rice cakes. Jasmine will have to wait two more years before she can assist with the mochi-tsuki, or mochi-making, with her grandma and aunties. Pounding the rice with the mochi hammer is a difficult feat that's reserved for the men in the family. But fearless Jasmine is determined to be the first girl and first person under 10 to help with the New Year preparations. Obaachan, Jasmine's grandmother, encourages her to be patient, while mean cousin Eddie relentlessly taunts the girl. In this new early chapter book series, Florence introduces readers to a bright character who is grappling with respecting authority while also forging her own path. Vukovic's illustrations are expressive and imbue Jasmine and the Toguchi family with sweetness.
VERDICT This first entry nicely balances humor with the challenges of growing up; readers will devour it.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing