Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is sick of everything happening to her sister, Sophie, first. Sophie started school first, learned to read first, started piano first, and now, she will learn to make mochi (a Japanese New Year’s treat) first. Jasmine wants to help make mochi too, instead of babysitting her cousins, Cassie and Leo. Sadly, the rule is that you can only make mochi once you are 10. As Jasmine contemplates the problem, she comes up with a plan. She could pound mochi with the boys… if she can convince her family. She tries to lift the hammer used to pound the treat. But as she begins to lift the hammer, her cousin Eddie comes and takes it away. How will she convince her family? And if she does, will she be able to lift the hammer?
Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen is an outstanding book with pictures that complement the story very well. Jasmine has a beautiful and unique personality. Debbi Michiko Florence portrays Japanese-American families very accurately, and an eight-year-old’s feelings even better. If you want to learn about the Japanese New Year, this book is for you.