Review | Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence #ReadYourWorld

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A lot of childhood is spent wishing you were old enough to do things that seem fun or important. Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is tired of her ten-year-old sister Sophie getting to do everything first. This year, Sophie gets to join the women of the family in making mochi at the family New Year’s celebration. Jasmine decides that she wants to do something new this year, too. She becomes determined to challenge convention and join the men of the family in pounding the mochi, a task that requires strength and skill. Can Jasmine convince her family that she’s up to the task?

Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen

Jasmine Toguchi Mochi QueenJasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen explores feelings that are familiar to many children, while at the same time teaching readers about Japanese culture and how Japanese-American families keep their traditions alive. Author Debbi Michiko Florence blends these two focal points into one highly readable book that elementary-aged kids are sure to love.

The thing that struck me most about this book was how much Jasmine reminds me of my own eight-year-old. Florence expertly captures the tone of a third-grader, and incorporates many things that are universal to kids this age: sibling rivalry, the desire to distinguish a role in the family, wanting to be separate from the “little kids.” These are all qualities that I see in my son every day. Jasmine’s desire to have something separate from her sister rang especially true to me.

Florence also incorporates elements of Japanese-American culture in a way that doesn’t feel heavy-handed. Learning about the process of making mochi is fun because it’s woven into the story of Jasmine’s struggle to assert herself. There’s even a microwave mochi recipe included in the book!

Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen is an excellent middle grade book that teaches cultural lessons and life lessons. I highly recommend it for your elementary-aged reader, either as an independent read or a read-aloud. I think you’ll fall in love with Jasmine’s spirit and tenacity, much like I did. I’m excited to read more books in this series!

I was provided a copy of this book for review. Thank you to Debbi Michiko Florence and MacMillan Kids!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press


2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan BernardoAuthor Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne BroylesAuthor Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports QueenAuthor Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!

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Crystal is an activist, feminist, and mom of three. She loves reading, crochet, and enjoying her family and friends. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.

One thought on “Review | Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence #ReadYourWorld

  1. I love this series too. It also rang true to me and I liked how Japanese culture is seamlessly woven through.

    Thanks so much for sharing via the Multicultural Children’s Book Day linky and for being a reviewer!

    I hope you can join us tonight at our Twitter Party from 9-10pm EST. We will be giving away hundreds of diverse children’s books in the form of 13 book bundles. One will be given away every six minutes.

    The questions with the book prizes are posted here:

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