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?
Debbi Michiko Florence, a third generation Japanese American, is a former classroom teacher and zoo educator. Her debut chapter book series is Jasmine Toguchi (Farrar Straus Giroux/2017 and 2018). Jasmine Toguchi Mochi Queen was a Bank Street 2018 Best Children’s Books of the Year, on the 2018 Amelia Bloomer List, and the 2018 CBCC Choices List (Best of the Year). Mochi Queen, Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl, and Jasmine Toguchi Flamingo Keeper were Junior Library Guild selections. Debbi is also the author of the early chapter book series, Dorothy and Toto (Picture Window Books/2016).
A native Californian, Debbi now lives in Connecticut with her husband, rescue dog, bunny, and two ducks. She loves to travel with her daughter and husband.
Elizabet Vukovic received her BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. She specializes in children’s book illustration, but enjoys experimenting with character design, concept art, fashion illustration, and decorative art. She currently resides in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.