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Summary: The Takeda family has raised world class Koi for generations. They have decided to start a joint venture with an American customer and friend to raise Royal Koi near Washington DC. Although saddened about leaving Japan, the Takedas are excited about their new venture. This is the story of how a young, sensitive, and caring teenager, Tamiko Takeda and her friends, came together to make life in their community better for everyone. This is a story offering empathy (and resolution) for those dealing with changes, big, small, real, or imagined.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12
Adult Reader Reaction: This is an excellent story and the book is easily in the top ten that I have reviewed for the Reading Tub. The author and illustrator are extraordinarily talented.
Pros: This is as wholesome and positive a story that one can find. The author and the illustrator are masters of their respective crafts. This is children’s literature at its very best.
Cons: Absolutely none.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. You will want this book for your child, for your friend’s children, and last but not least classroom, school, and public library shelves. Adolescents will enjoy the story, relate to the characters, and understand and appreciate the lessons the story has to offer.
Educational Themes: The story relates the insecurity and fears that plague adolescents as they face change, real or imagined, and how Tamiko and her classmates dealt with them. There are a variety of topics: challenges of fitting in; the impact of a terminal illness of a classmate; self-sacrifice; and, the importance of contributing to one’s community for starters.
Literary Categories: Fiction - cultures and tradition, death and loss, health, illness, family, middle grade, picture book