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I wish I had a fabulous book about Martin Luther King Jr. in my home collection to share today. Unfortunately, I do not. I do, however, have a book that celebrates diversity and culture. Appropriately, this story is also timely for Lunar New Year (this year celebrated 1/26).

Yoko (by Rosemary Wells) is a story about an adorable school-aged cat who is teased by her classmates when she brings her favorite lunch into school. The children make disgusted comments about sea weed, sushi, and raw fish. They hurt poor Yoko’s feelings and she goes home crushed. In an attempt to remedy the teasing, Yoko’s teacher invites the class to participate in “International Food Day”, with the proviso that the students must try a bite of each food. Yoko’s sushi, however, remains untouched throughout the lunch period.

One hungry student, however, tries Yoko’s dish when it is all that remains in the classroom. He finds it delightful and gobbles up all of the crab cakes. She, in turn, tries one of his coconut crisps. Yoko and her new friend develop a special bond, and join together to form a private restaurant the next day.

Speech Therapy Ideas:
1. Why do the children tease Yoko? Have you ever been teased before? Talk about the event and including a beginning, middle, and end to your story.

2. Categorize foods that you have tried before. What are some Italian foods, Mexican foods, Chinese foods, Japanese foods, American foods, etc.

3. Yoko’s mother calls her “Cherry Blossom” as a nickname. What is a nickname? What are some other kind nicknames that people have?

4. Practice medial /k/ sounds in “Yoko”. Use the back of your tongue to make a good sound. If it is easy for the child to make good medial /k/ in this word, try using the sound in sentences.

5. Make sushi or dessert sushi together. Talk about the ingredients, steps, measurements. Then have the child recall the directions to someone else for extra practice.

Photo by oskay

For our Lunar New Year’s Celebration last year, we made this Rice Crispy “sushi”. It was a hit and I expect that I’ll be making it again next week!

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  1. Rice Krispy sushi – wow! Never heard of it! Very interesting! I didn’t drink soy milk for about 10 years because I once brought it to school and somebody pointed at it and said, “yuck”.

  2. I LOVE your Rice Krispy sushi! What is that around it? Smart! I just may have to copy that idea!


  3. We have the EXACT same taste in kids’ books…this cinches it! We’ve checked this one out of the library SOOO many time the library staff giggles!

    All Rosemary Wells’ tend to be wonderful, but this is one of my faves. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I will look for that book at the library – sounds great!

  5. What a great idea – the rice krispy sushi looks like fun :0)

  6. Oh, that book sounds so cute! Who wouldn’t like sushi? I’m baffled.

    Would you care if I shared the sushi recipes on kidz? I was thinking of dessert sushi for the Chinese New Year….

  7. Ironic!! I made sushi tonight! Sans raw fish, though…I’m not that good. At K&T’s school, I once saw a kid rolling rice and nori right out of his lunchbox in the hall…and it was totally normal. (Charter school kids, sheesh…)

    I should’ve saved sushi night for the Lunar NY… I guess I’ll have to go for the Rice Crispy variety then!!

  8. Looks like you could have a side catering business! Fabulous! I am so impressed. What a very artsy-baker-of-an-SLP you are=)

  9. We have made the rice krispy sushi before! Fun!

    We love Miss Wells but never heard of this book. It’s all “Max and Ruby” here ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Love this–thanks for the ideas! We do a lot of book therapy around here!


  11. Those pictures are giving me MAJOR sushi lust right about now. It has been MONTHS since I had good sushi and I miss it terribly!

  12. When my kids were younger, I loved to collect books about different religions, cultures, etc. You can never have too many books.

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