Hardcover

$16.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details

Overview

Natsumi is small but full of big exuberance, and puts her girl-power to good use when she discovers a Japanese tradition as energetic as she is.

When Natsumi's family practices for their town's Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn't go any better. Can she find just the right way to put her exuberance to good use?

This heartwarming tale about being true to yourself is perfect for readers who march to their own beat.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

01/01/2018
Natsumi lives in Japan, and she tends to get carried away. In preparation for a village festival, she shakes flowers so vigorously that she makes “a cloud of pollen, leaves, and ants.” She whips tea ceremony tea so hard that it spatters her father’s eyeglasses. Natsumi’s patient grandfather tells her to “keep looking... and listening.” The two disappear together after school for weeks, and at the festival, the family is delighted to see Natsumi among the taiko drummers, where her enthusiasm is welcomed. Lendroth (Old Manhattan Has Some Farms) weaves cultural notes through her story, paying attention to traditional arts and the family’s connections to the village. Sound words amp up the readaloud energy, such as the soundtrack for a Japanese fan: “Open. Whisht. Shut. Click.” Burris (Grandma’s Tiny House) renders Natsumi and her family in loose lines and a palette that’s neither too loud nor too muted. Those interested in Japan will be drawn to this, as will those who know someone who’s a little over the top. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agency: Christina A. Tugeau Artist Agency. (Mar.)

From the Publisher

★ "A joyful experience from beginning to end . . . Natsumi [is] a girl with lots of energy and spunk who throws herself into everything, while Burris portrays her in joyous action. The multigenerational nature of the family adds to the warmth of the story." —Booklist, starred review

"A whirlwind of energy, Natsumi often hears the words, "Not so fast" or "hard" or "loud" from her family. When she worries her boisterous actions always lead to mistakes, her grandfather finds the perfect outlet: taiko. On stage, Natsumi pounds the large, barrel-shaped drums—their thundering boom an extension of her enthusiastic spirit. Like Kevin Henkes with his water pistol-toting Lilly, Lendroth offers a charming character who defies traditional gender associations." —Kirkus Reviews

"Lendroth weaves cultural notes through her story, paying attention to traditional arts and the family's connections to the village . . . [A]t the festival, the family is delighted to see Natsumi among the taiko drummers, where her enthusiasm is welcomed . . . Those interested in Japan will be drawn to this, as will those who know someone who's a little over the top." —Publishers Weekly

"A little girl with a big personality finds the perfect way to channel her energy in this cheerful picture book . . . . [T]his book presents a positive introduction to traditional arts such as tea ceremony and flower arranging, and has a great deal to offer in its affirming message about being oneself." —School Library Journal

School Library Journal

02/01/2018
PreS-Gr 2—A little girl with a big personality finds the perfect way to channel her energy in this cheerful picture book. Natsumi is constantly on the go, despite her family's admonitions that she's too fast and too loud. Her enthusiastic efforts to join them in practicing traditional Japanese arts for the upcoming village festival result in minor disasters. Her grandfather is the only one who understands her; in a satisfying conclusion, he guides her toward taiko drumming, a thunderously loud activity that allows her to express herself while taking part in the festival. Bright, bold illustrations deftly capture Natsumi's exuberance, and the prose is sprinkled with sound effects, making for an engaging read-aloud. The author occasionally relies on tropes to indicate the contemporary Japanese setting; references to sumo wrestling, samurai warriors, and "ninja moves" feel designed for a Western audience with limited exposure to Japanese culture. Although the setting lacks some nuance, this book presents a positive introduction to traditional arts such as tea ceremony and flower arranging, and has a great deal to offer in its affirming message about being oneself. Many young readers will relate to Natsumi's experience of being told to keep herself in check, and will cheer her on when she finds her niche in taiko drumming. VERDICT An appealing addition to picture book collections and a good conversation-starter about individuality.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA

Kirkus Review

2017-12-21
An exuberant young girl finds her match in taiko drumming.A whirlwind of energy, Natsumi often hears the words, "Not so fast" or "hard" or "loud" from her family. When she worries her boisterous actions always lead to mistakes, her grandfather finds the perfect outlet: taiko. On stage, Natsumi pounds the large, barrel-shaped drums—their thundering boom an extension of her enthusiastic spirit. Like Kevin Henkes with his water pistol-toting Lilly, Lendroth offers a charming character who defies traditional gender associations. However, her choice to place this modern story in a "village" is interesting. Cultural festivals such as the one she describes are experienced by Japanese-Americans today, and the United States has a thriving taiko or kumidaiko scene, yet Americans do not typically refer to their small towns or rural locations as villages. Acknowledgement that the setting is in Japan in the tale's initial setup would have been helpful, as it establishes an entirely different lens for readers. Digital art, made to look like marker drawings, are colored in a mostly pastel palette. Unfortunately, while the artist is capable of including more interest and detail in her illustrations, as in her Five Green and Speckled Frogs (2003), she fails to give these characters and setting the specificity she gave generic animals.Lendroth brings the right ingredients, offering a tale that challenges gender stereotypes and showcases an intergenerational bond, but overall, it's a disappointing execution to a promising start. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399170904
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 03/13/2018
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 507,670
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews