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Jasmine Toguchi: Drummer Girl By Debbi Michiko Florence (pictures by Elizabet Vukovic)
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
This is the third book in the Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series, which features a third-generation Japanese American girl, and it’s a wowee zowee winner!
Jasmine is a third grader at Drake Elementary and it is nearly time for the school talent show. Jasmine’s close friends all have talents to demonstrate in the show, so does the overly perfect Maggie Milsap. But Jasmine’s talents— making collages, tree climbing, and pounding mocha —aren’t exactly stage material.
Luckily, Jasmine’s mother introduces her to taiko aka Japanese drumming. Learning taiko with her mother’s taiko-playing friend makes Jasmine feel strong and happy. She instantly falls in love with her newly acquired skill and is convinced she is gifted with natural drumming ability. But the talent show is looming and Jasmine will have to realize the importance of hard work and practice if she is to stand a chance at outshining Maggie Milsap and performing well in the big event.
This chapter book is ideal for readers aged 6-9. It uses simple language and short sentences and is a page-turning read. It also includes an author’s note on the history of taiko and instructions on how to make a hachi-maki headband, a popular accessory for taiko players.
Best enjoyed with a big plate of mouth-watering sushi! Oh, and keep an eye out for the next title to come in the series, Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper, which will no doubt be just as appealing.