Hyperion Books for Children, 1998
From the dust jacket: “What a great day it’s going to be! Yoko’s mother has made her favorite sushi for lunch and packed it in a willow-covered cooler. The bus whisks Yoko to school where she greets all her friends and joins in the Good Morning Song. But when lunchtime arrives, suddenly everyone notices Yoko’s sushi. The teasing starts and her happy day evaporates.
“With an uncanny understanding of the pleasures and pains of an ordinary school day, Rosemary Wells has created a tender, irresistible story, true to the heart of childhood.”
This is a sweet picture book with cute illustrations that deals with a sometimes hard subject of rejection and bullying. It helps that all the animals are cute and the teasing isn’t too harsh, but it hurts Yoko all the same. Thankfully the school teacher works things out and the students are all friends again at the end of the book. Yoko is a cautionary tale of not liking someone and being mean to them just because they’re different and eat different things. We’re all the same under our skin and/or fur and it’s a good lesson to learn while your kittens are still young.
The book has large, black print on white background so early readers will be able to read it and learn about how to make sushi! Hmmm, reading this book has made me hungry for some tuna and shrimp!!
Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the illustrations are cute and the lesson is taught gently.