Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#road2reading Challenge - new transitional chapter book series! 6.20.17

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools 
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Sometimes you read a book over summer break and it makes you so excited to go back to school in the fall!  That's the case with this new series from Debbi Michiko Florence!

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen
Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen
written by Debbi Michiko Florence
illustrated by Elizabet Vukotic´
published by Farrar Straus Giroux
July 11th

Goodreads summary
The first book in a new chapter book series featuring a spunky Japanese-American heroine!

Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker!

She's also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie--something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before.

But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year's Day?

My quick thoughts
I loved meeting Jasmine!  She's full of spunk, ideas and determination!  I loved how she wasn't afraid of changing "how it's always been done".  We need more of her now!  

This is going to be a great transitional chapter book series for all readers.  I love how this book supports readers by:

  • having one main problem - there aren't multiple story strands for young readers to piece together.  Jasmine tries different solutions, which keeps the storyline moving, but it's all for the same problem
  • short, quick chapters keep the reader wanting to turn pages
  • realistic story lines will help with understanding - even with the cultural references, they are discussed in a way that makes sense to young readers
  • there is an illustration on almost every two page spread in each chapter.  Some illustrations are large, some depict one small item that is talked about on that page.  Every illustrations helps support young readers.
  • will be a series - more about Jasmine to look forward to!
I really love the diverse plot lines this series is bringing - this first book is about the traditions in making a Japanese dessert - mochi, which is a sweet, rice cake.  There is even a recipe included at the end of the book for making microwavable mochi!  The second book (the first two books are being published simultaneously) is about Girl's Day - a traditional Japanese holiday honoring women and girls!

I am really looking forward to where Jasmine takes us next!  Great series for a K-3 library!

Don't miss Alyson's post this week about a fun new picture book series.

Want to talk about books for readers who are on the #road2reading?  Link up here!

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