Sushi lovers young and old will find this book informative and delightful.


On the Japanese island of Hokkaido, a fox befriends a human sushi chef and discovers the secrets of making great sushi.

When Fox first meets Kikuchi, she offers the elderly chef acorns in exchange for sushi. Instead, Kikuchi asks Fox to find him “the most delicious spring water.” Fox brings him to the deep valley, where a spring offers “the sweetest and most refreshing water.” “Sushi,” says Kikuchi, “tastes best when made with fine rice and delicious water.” Fox is “delighted by the taste of sushi melting in [her] mouth.” The next evening, Fox visits Kikuchi again. This time, Fox finds wasabi. “Real sushi needs the stinging taste of the wasabi,” explains Kikuchi. After watching Kikuchi, Fox thinks making sushi is easy. However, Fox succeeds only in making a big mess. Then Kikuchi has an idea! “Fox, your hands are small, so why don’t you try making a rice ball instead of sushi?” Fox makes the perfect packed lunch—rice balls stuffed with apricot and pickled fish eggs. Accompanying side notes discuss the history of sushi as well as other Japanese traditions such as matsuri, or festivals. Kaleidoscopic illustrations bring the text alive; rendered in delicate strokes and vibrant colors, peonies dance across Fox’s kimono, fatty streaks on tuna glint in the light, and pink shrimp mimic real life.

Sushi lovers young and old will find this book informative and delightful. (geographical notes, glossary) (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-939248-17-6

Page Count: 38

Publisher: TanTan

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.


Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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