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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yoko's Show and Tell, written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells. Hyperion, H B Fenn, 2011. $18.99 ages 4 and up

"In school, Mrs. Jenkins
asked, "Do you have a
show-and-tell surprise for
us today, Yoko?'
Yoko could not answer.
Yoko could not do her
singing or drawing,.
She could not eat lunch."

It's so good to spend time with Yoko again. If you have been following her exploits this will be your fourth meeting. As you know Yoko is a Japanese-American kitten and she is school-age. It is at school (and on the bus) that her stories generally happen. This time her grandparents send her a special gift from Japan to help her celebrate Girls' Day (March 3). Miki is an antique doll and a family heirloom and thus, much loved in Yoko's family. Yoko would like to take Miki to school to share her story with her classmates at Show-and-Tell, but Mama is adamant that Miki not leave the family home.

Yoko will not be deterred:

"But Yoko was too excited about Girls' Day.
'Everyone in my class will love you!' she said to Miki.
'I will bring you right home, and Mama will never know!'"

You can hear the groans and the 'uh-ohs!', can't you?

A bad experience on the bus to school leaves Miki in tatters and Yoko must confess her deception. A trip to the doll hospital has the desired effect. When Obaasan and Ojiisan arrive to visit, Miki impresses with her new kimono and fresh face. Obaasan admires her unscratched beauty and Yoko shines with pride. In the meantime, the Franks are paying for their mischief in Yoko's front yard:

""Who is that outside, scrubbing the steps, raking all the peach blossoms, and pulling up the weeds?"" asked Ojiisan." 

We know who! It is the price paid for their thoughtless behavior. 

Kid love to hear Yoko's stories. The smaller sized books are designed to fit perfectly into little hands and they tell of typical events from the lives of many young children. They are gently told, with framed and boldly colored artwork in mixed media which add depth and interest.

If this is your first meeting, be sure to check for Yoko's other stories, too.

Happy Girls' Day to Yoko and her many friends. Miki is sure to find a place of importance at the doll festival as parents wish their daughters 'good health and happiness'.

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