Jasmine Toguchi is back in a third book trying to figure out the perfect talent to show off in the school show.
Eight-year-old Jasmine’s principal has announced they are having a schoolwide talent show. Everyone in her class already seems to have a talent picked out—even the new girl is bragging about how she is going to win with her violin playing. After some thinking and talking, Jasmine finally admits that she doesn’t have a talent, so her mom introduces her to taiko drumming, a Japanese art form. She has less than a week to learn the basics of taiko and how to play a short song, which raises doubts that if she isn’t perfect that means she isn’t talented. The plot is simple, but the themes are familiar to all readers. In this outing, Florence focuses on introducing Jasmine’s Japanese culture to her school and friends. Befitting the form, it’s a short, easy-to-read book with black-and-white sketches throughout, making the story accessible to early readers. An author’s note and hachi-maki headband instruction guide are included for more information on taiko and Japanese culture.
An enjoyable offering about trying new activities and finding just the right talent that makes us feel “free and strong and happy.” (Fiction. 5-9)