SUMO BOY by Hirotaka Nakagawa


Age Range: 6 - 8
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Like many sumo matches, this awkwardly translated import is over almost before it begins. Hearing a cry for help Sumo Boy flies to the rescue, defeating a bully—“How about an open hand push . . . and an inside leg trip . . . But the winning move is the overarm throw!”—then bringing the intended victim back to the dojo for some “sumo hot pot.” Hasegawa places the grimacing, crudely drawn, loincloth-clad lad against visually bewildering backdrops of crammed city crowds and signs in Japanese. The closing pages, in which tiny figures demonstrate 36 sumo techniques with such rousing (if sometimes inscrutable) names as the “Thigh Scooping Body Drop,” and “Frontal Crush-out,” may have future manga fans lingering, but readers hoping for another crowd pleaser like David Wisniewski’s Sumo Mouse (2002) will be sadly disappointed. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7868-3635-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006