Author: Rosemary Wells
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Prejudice and Tolerance Experiences, Japanese and Japanese American, Respect, Elementary School
Timothy has peanut butter and jelly for lunch. Valerie has a cream cheese and jelly sandwich. Fritz unwraps a meatball grinder. The Frank twins share franks and beans. And Yoko? Yoko has brought sushi for lunch. Sushi?! The other children at school find her lunch horrifying: "Yuckorama!" Worse, everyone laughs, and Yoko goes through her day listless and sad. Mrs. Jenkins, her concerned teacher, tries to orchestrate Yoko through her difficult day, but nothing works.
Then Mrs. Jenkins announces that there will be an International Food Day at school, and Yoko's mother promises to make sushi for the entire class. Yoko's classmates arrive with a colorful procession of dishes from all parts of the world, even the Caribbean coco crisps are devoured, but no one touches Yoko's sushi. Finally, Timothy, an intrepid raccoon, decides to try, and Yoko shows him how to use chopsticks. From then on, Timothy and Yoko push their desks together and share each other's food, opening up their own private "restaurant."
Rosemary Wells, award-winning author/illustrator of over 50 books for children, illustrates her story of learning tolerance for difference in her signature charming style. Yoko's mother, a full-grown cat, is shown executing the different steps of the sushi-making process, and bright, stylized versions of different animals represent a variety of races and ethnicities.
Rosemary Wells has been writing and illustrating for more than 30 years.