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KIKUCHI'S SUSHI

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. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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TALES FOR VERY PICKY EATERS

Broccoli: No way is James going to eat broccoli. “It’s disgusting,” says James. Well then, James, says his father, let’s consider the alternatives: some wormy dirt, perhaps, some stinky socks, some pre-chewed gum? James reconsiders the broccoli, but—milk? “Blech,” says James. Right, says his father, who needs strong bones? You’ll be great at hide-and-seek, though not so great at baseball and kickball and even tickling the dog’s belly. James takes a mouthful. So it goes through lumpy oatmeal, mushroom lasagna and slimy eggs, with James’ father parrying his son’s every picky thrust. And it is fun, because the father’s retorts are so outlandish: the lasagna-making troll in the basement who will be sent back to the rat circus, there to endure the rodent’s vicious bites; the uneaten oatmeal that will grow and grow and probably devour the dog that the boy won’t be able to tickle any longer since his bones are so rubbery. Schneider’s watercolors catch the mood of gentle ribbing, the looks of bewilderment and surrender and the deadpanned malarkey. It all makes James’ father’s last urging—“I was just going to say that you might like them if you tried them”—wholly fresh and unexpected advice. (Early reader. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-14956-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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