Friday, October 13, 2017

Kikuchi's Sushi - a bookwap


Authored by Myung Sook Jeong
Illustrated by Sul Hee Kook

Ages: 3-7
Grade Levels: PS-2

Unwrapping some great illustrations for you to enjoy

About the book

Ohayou!  That means "good morning" in Japanese.  Fox lives in Hokkaido, Japan and he sits on the top of a hill overlooking the village watching people line up to visit Grandpa Kikuchi's house.  Why?  Grandpa Kikuchi makes the best sushi in the village every one claims. Their smiles prove its true as they walk out the door  with their bellies filled by his grand chef-wizardry. Curious Fox decides he must go and have a taste of that sushi and find out for himself.  

Late at night when all the customers have left Fox quietly opens the door of Kikuchi's restaurant and enters inside.  Startled to see a Fox Kikuchi discovers that Fox has brought him a basket of acorns that he has carefully gathered to trade for a taste of those sushi delicacies.  His offer is declined but the old man tells Fox if he can find the most delicious spring water Kikuchi will give him his heart's desire.  Fox knows just where to find that water and it follows that he got his belly filled with a tuna belly sushi. This is his response to that delectable morsel: 

"Oh! So this is what sushi tastes like!" I was delighted by the taste of sushi melting in my mouth."

Fox returns again and again to sample more and more of the delicious sushi. Fox tries different combinations of special ingredients that the chef uses to make his famous sushi and each time it tastes better than the last.  

Kikuchi laughs when Fox thinks sushi is easy to prepare and wants to try to make some all on his own.  With over-confidence Fox tries... hard... but alas fails to make it appetizing just creating a huge mess.  The pro-chef steps in to save the day and skillfully makes the sushi perfectly, as only he can.  A friendship emerges between the two and one day Kikuchi shows up in the forest where Fox resides and invited his friend to attend a local matsuri festival.  Matsuri is a time when people pray for things like their family's health, for the harvest to go well, to catch a lot of fish, or for their businesses to prosper.  

Fox is greatly touched by the offer and agrees to accompany his mentor to partake in the merry festivities.  

The illustrations are detailed, colourful and full of activity.  They enrich the narrative greatly.  The author has inserted facts throughout the book concerning Japanese culture and provides added more in-depth information about Japan and sushi at the back. 

I love the book.  It is a very good story plus the added educational details make it a great book for older kids to read or use for a project on Japan.   I highly recommend it. 

Storywraps Rating - 5 +++ HUGS!!!!!

About the author and illustrator

Myung Sook Jeong has worked as a reporter in Australia and has written poems, fairytales, and picture books while traveling worldwide. Her other books include Seeing World History Through Painting, First Step Art, First Step World History, and National Treasure Story. 

Sul Hee Kook studied western painting in college, and has shown work in exhibitions. Her works include Oh, Back Off Now; The Dream That Fly in the Sky; Let's Share a Warm Feeling; Yellow Mailbox; and others.

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