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.
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!