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by Kimiko Kajikawa

illustrated by Yumi Heo



/*Starred Review*/ Ages 4-8. Dueling neighbors reconcile in this humorous retelling of a traditional Japanese¬† folktale. Fan maker Yoshi lives next door to cook Sabu on the outskirts of town. Few customers buy Sabu’s fragrant broiled eels, including Yoshi, who claims that just smelling the eels is enough. Enraged, Sabu charges Yoshi for the privilege of smelling his eels, and Yoshi responds with sound, dropping coins back into his own money box and dancing wildly. In retaliation, Sabu puts “the stinkiest fish in all of Japan” on his hibachi. Unable to tolerate the odor, Yoshi initiates a truce, drumming up business for Sabu with his “fiery dances” and sharing meals with his new friend at day’s end. The text, illustrations, and book¬† design are all marvelous. Heo’s dazzling collages of paint, pencil, and handmade paper bring out the outrageous action and humor in Yoshi and Sabu’s conflict, extending the lively dialogue and rich text. This one will get a great response on the story-hour circuit. ((Reviewed March 1, 2000)) — Gillian Engberg under Books for Youth, For the Young


  • Booklist Editors’ Choice – Books for Youth – Young Readers Category: 2000


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, Ages 0-8, Folklore, Friendship, Pre-Kindergarten