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Yoko Hardcover – January 1, 1900


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Hardcover, January 1, 1900
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 350L (What's this?)
  • Series: Yoko
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1st edition (January 1, 1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786803959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786803958
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 9.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It is Yoko's first day at school, so of course her mother wants to send her off with healthy comfort food for lunch--a delectable package of homemade sushi. "Have a wonderful day at school, my Little Cherry Blossom," her mother says as Yoko climbs into the bus. And it would have been, had it not been for lunchtime. Timothy brings a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Tulip has Swiss cheese on rye. The Franks brothers have beans and franks. But when Yoko opens her cooler of rice rolls with "the crispiest cucumber, the pinkest shrimp, the greenest seaweed, and the tastiest tuna," one of the Franks brothers announces, "Ick. It's green. It's seaweed." Tulip and Fritz chime in, "Yuck-o-rama."

Rosemary Wells (Voyage to the Bunny Planet), with her expressive, bright-eyed, chubby-cheeked animal kingdom, has once again successfully tapped into the emotional world of children. The embarrassment of bringing an uncool lunch to school! What child hasn't wanted to hide under the cafeteria table when caught with a gooey enchilada or a slice of vegetarian lentil loaf? Fortunately, Yoko's teacher concocts a plan to stop the teasing. Parents who have more ambitious hopes for their children's lunches than Fritos, PB&Js, and Oreos will be relieved to discover that the happy ending does not include Yoko's giving up her comfort meal or, more importantly, her heritage. (Ages 4 and older) --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

Yoko the kitten has gone off to her school with her willow-covered cooler filled with sushi, looking forward to a good day. But her classmates tease her mercilessly when lunch time rolls around ("Ick!... It's seaweed!"). Even worse, during the class Snack Time Song, the two bulldogs who brought franks and beans for lunch snort, "Red bean ice cream is for weirdos!" A pat ending seems in sight when Yoko's wise teacher plans an International Food Day and requires the students to try everything. But only hungry Timothy (a raccoon) is brave enough to taste Yoko's sushi?and yet this proves to be enough for Yoko. By book's end, Timothy and Yoko are fast friends, planning to open their very own lunch-time restaurant featuring tomato sandwiches and dragon rolls. As usual, Wells demonstrates a remarkable feel for children's small but important difficulties. Like the just-right text, her expressive watercolors, both panels and full-scale, capture a distinctive variety of animal children as well as the nuances in Yoko's expressions. Wells's message is clear without being heavy-handed, making this brightly colored schoolroom charmer a perfect book for those American-melting-pot kindergartners who need to develop a genuine respect for one another's differences. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York. "Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books. She has won numerous awards, and has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two enormous, definitive editions, published by Candlewick. Wells wrote and illustrated Unfortunately Harriet, her first book with Dial, in 1972. One year later she wrote the popular Noisy Nora. "The children and our home life have inspired, in part, many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin and Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals I have made up for my stories." Her daughters Victoria and Beezoo were constant inspirations, especially for the now famous "Max" board book series. "Simple incidents from childhood are universal," Wells says. "The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families."But not all of Wells' ideas come from within the family circle. Many times when speaking, Mrs. Wells is asked where her ideas come from. She usually answers, "It's a writer's job to have ideas." Sometimes an idea comes from something she reads or hears about, as in the case of her recent book, Mary on Horseback, a story based on the life of Mary Breckenridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service. Timothy Goes to School was based on an incident in which her daughter was teased for wearing the wrong clothes to a Christmas concert. Her dogs, west highland terriers, Lucy and Snowy, work their way into her drawings in expression and body position. She admits, "I put into my books all of the things I remember. I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind. These remembrances are jumbled up and changed because fiction is always more palatable than truth. Memories become more true as they are honed and whittled into characters and stories."

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A great book to read to a child and you will find you love it, too.
Margo Morgan
In this way, Wells is able to give us an honestly happy ending without compromising the story along the way.
E. R. Bird
The first time I ever saw it the librarian pulled it from the shelf to read it to the class.
Jules

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David Keuning on November 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Somewhere three quarters of the way into this book, something happens. The book breaks away from the ending that my wife and I expected. Ms. Wells steers clear of the facile 'happy ending' and re-routes the book to new and different territory. In the hands of a lesser author we would have the entire class doing cartwheels for Yoko's sushi. Sorry, that doesn't happen. Instead we get a much different ending. Somehow that makes the book more tender. More realistic. Kudos to the author for the ability to make this true to the meaning of being a kid.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful addition to the Rosemary Wells collection. What child hasn't felt different or excluded like Yoko is? Most of us can relate to bringing the wrong lunch to school and paying the social consequences. Yoko's teacher comes up with an inventive way to try to integrate Yoko's sushi into an international food day, but it fails. However, a curious friend tries Yoko's sushi and likes it, proving that just one friend can make all the difference. This book is a great stepping stone to talk to kids about respecting each other's cultural differences. And who can resist Wells's sweet illustrations? Look for old favorite friends Benjamin and Tulip!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
You know how literary snobs can debate for hours whether such-n-such an author's work was better early in their career or late? Okay, that's what I do, only I do it with children's authors. Which, when you think about it, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I mean, what's the point in comparing early Maurice Sendak to his later stuff? What are you really going to determine if you hold up William Steig's cohesive early picture books to his later messiness? But that's just what I do. It's what I like to do. And I have been doing it to Rosemary Wells for years. Ms. Wells was the picture book author I really and truly grew up with. I like to claim loftily that Tasha Tudor was my earliest childhood influence, but I'm just saying that to impress my fellow kiddie lit snobs. If I'm going to be honest, I grew up on Max and Ruby. Books like, "Max's Breakfast". When I became a children's librarian I finally saw Wells' later work and I was, frankly, shocked. To me, it seemed as if Wells had become sloppy in her later years. Max and Ruby books keep getting cranked out, but their plots have become gooey and the illustrations messy. So I grumbled to myself and refused to seriously consider reading and reviewing a single Rosemary Wells picture book ever again. Then, in the process of reading the New York Public Library's, "100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know" I realized that I'd have to read "Yoko". I didn't want to, but admittedly it looked appealing. Reluctantly, I checked it out of my library branch. Tentatively I opened it up and read it through. And just like that my late-Rosemary-Wells prejudice dropped like scales from my eyes. I still think that later Max and Ruby books haven't half the heart of their earlier predecessors.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jody L. Schoth on August 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story that celebrates the diversity of our nation, and shows that these differences are cause for celebration not ridicule. My daughter enjoyed this book, and followed the childrens feelings of the unusual lunch dish. When she said "ick!" and slowly began to wonder what sushi actually tastes like, it made me smile. She learned the first lesson of the differences in everyone. Rosemary Wells provided the stepping stone for understanding and tolerance.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scott D Gauss on April 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of how Yoko brought Japanese food to school, and the reactions Yoko gets. Rosemary Wells has done a number of books about the kids at Hilltop school and turned it into a cartoon on PBS. She's also the author of the Max and Ruby 'Bunny' books.
This is a pretty simple little book but it has some good lessons tucked away in the story. First, it's good to try different foods. Second, its okay to be different. Third, the teacher is your friend and wants you to enjoy school. This is not a deep book, but Wells creates another story that small children will enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on July 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the charming story of a sushi-eating cat, Yoko, who struggles to find acceptance from her classmates after eating her favorite food for lunch. Yoko's teacher arrives at a clever solution for encouraging acceptance of her students' culinary diversity, and Yoko finds a friend. The book is well-illustrated and a cute read for a three-year-old.
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Format: Hardcover
We've read all of the Yoko books which include characters who are cats, racoons, mice and other animals. The characters are sweet and kind (well, maybe not so much The Franks!). These books are great because as a mom, I can read them over and over and they're charming and smart and teach lessons without being preachy.

Also, Yoko is of Japanese descent (yes, I'm sure you couldn't tell by her name!). My daughter is half Japanese, so that is why we initially read the book. In this story, Yoko brings sushi to school and the other kids make fun of her. In the end, she makes a friend. Highly recommended.
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By Mrs. Tansil's Class on May 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Yoko is the main character. People were saying yuck to Yoko's lunch and I didn't think that was very nice. They were at lunch time. They were in the classroom eating lunch and people were making fun of Yoko's lunch. Because Yoko's lunch didn't look good to Yoko's friends, she was sad. Yoko is a fabulous book because it's about friends who fight then and be friends again.

I think if you don't have ant thing nice to say then don't say it at all.

I think this book is interesting because Yoko knows how to use chopsticks.
by Emma
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