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Yoko (Yoko)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  909 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
Mmm, Yoko's mom has packed her favorite for lunch today-sushi! But her classmates don't think it looks quite so yummy. "Ick!" says one of the Franks. "It's seaweed!" They're not even impressed by her red bean ice cream dessert. Of course, Mrs. Jenkins has a plan that might solve Yoko's problem. But will it work with the other children in class? Now in paperback for the fir ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Disney-Hyperion (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,373)
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I like the honest way Yoko depicts what it can feel like to be a child told you are weird or strange or unliked. To be outcast – for any reason – is hurtful, and children understand that experience, often very personally. (Though understanding what it feels like to be left out and understanding that you are excluding others are two different developmental abilities.) I also appreciate that despite the support of Yoko’s teacher and parents, she is still bearing the brunt of peer abuse and rejec ...more
This is definitely a book to keep in the room, be it a classroom or a child's personal library.
Yoko, a sweet little cherryblossom of a kitten, is being made fun of in school because of her sushi lunches. In our class, we talked about having unique tastes because of your cultural heritage, and how we would feel if someone said "yucko!" to our favorite food. We also discussed good language to use when trying something new for the first time and not liking it, what to do when someone's feelings ar
Penny Igarashi
Jul 11, 2015 Penny Igarashi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Yoko to my Kindergarten students every year. It is a wonderful way to begin discussion of cultural differences in the food people eat. I am excited when they put themselves in Yoko's place. Empathy is a value I very much hope to encourage in my students. Yoko is a popular teachers' resource.
Jenna Snyder
Title: Yoko
Author: Rosemary Wells
Illustrator: Rosemary Wells
Genre: Picture Book
Theme(s): acceptance, friendship, culture
Opening line/sentence: “What would you like for lunch today, my little cherry blossom?” asked Yoko’s mother.
Brief Book Summary: Yoko is a Japanese cat who gets made fun of by her classmates because she brings sushi to school, a food that her classmates find repulsive. Yoko is upset that her classmates disapprove of her lunch, and so her teacher decides to plan an Internatio
Jennifer Varnadore
Mar 26, 2015 Jennifer Varnadore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children
Recommended to Jennifer by: Saya Roberson
I thought this was a very adorable, as well as educational book. It dealt with children who bullied a girl about her lunch, because it was so different. They teased her and avoided her food when the teacher tried to do an international food day, and told the kids they had to taste everything. In the end, however, one of the boys in class tried the food and thought it was wonderful, and all ended well.

It dealt with the teacher trying to offer a real solution to the problem, and trying to get the
Nov 10, 2014 RC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bullying
Yoko is another beautiful book from Rosemary Wells. It follows the cat Yoko as she struggles with cultural difference and bullying at school. Yoko brings sushi to school for lunch and stands out among her classmates. She is laughed at and feels hurt. Her teachers tries to solve this by having international food day, where Yoko again feels left out. However, in the end Yoko connects with one of her classmates and they both try each others international dishes. They then open a "restaurant" and sh ...more
Sep 03, 2008 Matt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Don't drink the kool-aid, even in small doses.
Shelves: childrens
For reasons I can't entirely put my finger on, I'm not a big fan of Rosemary Wells. The closest I can get to it is to say that I think she speaks downward to the child reader a bit too much, but perhaps I would feel otherwise were I a three year old. Certainly my three year olds enjoy Wells more than I do, but on the other hand they just love to read and enjoy most anything with words and pictures.

But in the case of 'Yoko', there is more to my distaste than that.

'Yoko' is a simple story of a ch
Emily Stueven
There can never be too many children's books (or adult books, for that matter) about celebrating diversity. Here's a pretty good one to add to the list.

Yoko's family is Japanese, and her favorite food is sushi. During lunch at school one day, while the other kids eat very American sandwiches with condiments like "squeeze cheese," Yoko enjoys some homemade sushi with cucumber, seaweed, shrimp, and tuna (I'm hungry just writing this). In my mind, this should make her the most popular girl in the
John Matsuura
Mar 26, 2013 John Matsuura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a feel good story that teaches children of different cultures and going outside the box to try new things they are not accustom to. All the characters in this book were animals that represented different cultures. Yoko, the main character of this book, brought in sushi and other Japanese cuisine for lunch one day at school. The other children were surprised by the things Yoko was eating as everything in her lunchbox they had not seen before. The other children began to make fun of ...more
Jack Kirby and the X-man
This is a lovely story, particularly for any child who is perceived as different.

Yoko is the daughter of Japanese immigrants to the US. The cultural differences between her and her classmates leave her feeling ostracised. Rosemary Wells picks up on a common from immigrant kids - the food they bring to school highlights that they are different. The use of food in this book is really symbolic of the wider cultural differences between immigrants and their new home.

Mrs Jenkins, their teacher, is a s
Brendan Howard
Apr 20, 2015 Brendan Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-to-zahara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Forrester
Feb 17, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, storytime
Yoko’s mother has packed her favorite lunch, sushi. Yoko can’t wait to eat it, but at lunch all the other kids pull out sandwiches and make fun of Yoko, “Ick! It’s green! It’s seaweed!” The teacher, Mrs. Jenkins is concerned and decides to hold International Food Day. She sends a note home asking the children to bring in a dish from a foreign country, “Everyone must try a bite of everything!”

The book is illustrated in Wells’ signature style (you might be familiar with her immensely popular Max
Mitchell Ary
Nov 05, 2014 Mitchell Ary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edrd-314
i like how the teacher in the book had a song for every event that happened in school (sarcasm). i liked how the book encouraged cultural diversity and how everyone kind of fears something they don't know about and how close minded that can make them. but if you try something new it can open up doors you never thought would open and it doesn't just hold true for food.
Dec 11, 2007 Deidra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: final-project
Written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, published by Hyperion, copyright 1998.

Grades: 1-3

During lunchtime at school, Yoko brings out her homemade package. The only problem is that her mom made her sushi for lunch! Not a very "cool" thing to bring to school. All the other kids make fun of her lunch, what is she to do? Then Yoko's wise teacher plans an international food day at school, and finally the other kids are able to experience some of Yoko's life. She ends up making new friends and even
Feb 09, 2014 Savannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I like how when Yoko felt different about her sushi lunch at school her teacher tried to help. Mrs. Jenkins wrote a letter to all the parents saying that it will be International Food Day and to bring in a dish from a foreign country. Additionally everyone had to try a bite of everything. The dishes that were bought in were enchiladas, Caribbean coconut crisps, Nigerian nut soup, Brazil nuts, Irish stew, potato knishes, mango smoothies, spaghetti and Boston franks and beans. Everyone tried every ...more
A sweet story about trying new things before you judge. There's a nice message about diversity, too. Yoko's classmate think her sushi lunch looks yucky; their clever teacher invites the kids to bring favorite dishes from all over the world, and they're all a little richer for the experience.
Jun 18, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
This was a nice little book about diversity, tolerance, expanding one's horizons, and even, I guess, about bullying. My niece likes this book quite well (she's apparently read it before), and my nephew seemed to appreciate it, too. Was it a remarkably impactful book? Meh. Probably not all that much, but it wasn't pointless, either. Rosemary Wells just has a way of bringing kids' experiences of the world around them to life in her books. When my niece, nephew, and I read Rosemary Wells' books, th ...more
May 31, 2015 Fanny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mc-lit
It's an entertaining book, that tries to teach empathy to those who are different from us, by narrating the story of a Japanese cat named Yoko, whose customs and food look bizarre to her kindergarten classmates. The story develops around Yoko's sushi that her mom made her for lunch, and that her classmates thought was disgusting hurting Yoko's feelings. Yoko's teacher plans a "International Food Day" in an attempt to show the class that food from other countries can be tasty and it is okay to tr ...more
Stacy Ford
A nice introduction to cultural diversity and not picking on others because they are different. I was able to discuss the fact that just because other people like different foods doesn't mean the food is weird, it is just different with my four year old.
Nabila Tabassum Chowdhury
# শিশুরা নিষঠুর!
# তোততোচান, সোসাকু কোবায়েশি এবং সাগর থেকে পাহাড় থেকে আনা খাবারের কথা মনে পড়ে গেল।
# সবাই মিলে সুশি খেলে বইটা আরো ভাল হতো। সবাই পারটিসিপেট না করাতে কেন যেন অসমপূরন মনে হলো।
Apr 13, 2016 Phoenix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phoenix choose this from her school library. Phoenix really loved this book. It was probably the pics of the the sushi. She wanted me to read it to her at least twice a night.
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adorable Yoko has a lunch box that's more than a little different. Cute and delicious. Seriously, just thinking about it has my mouth watering for sushi.

Library copy.
Hye Eun
This book portrays how immigrant students might feel left out in schools due to their different customs. Yoko brought Sushi for lunch but the other kids made fun of her for having a very different food. Yoko feels really bad so the teacher decides to have an international food day. Kids brought all kinds of different foods but no one tried Yoko's sushi. However, at the end one kid tries the sushi and falls in love with it. This book would be great for teaching about different cultures. I think i ...more
When Yoko brings sushi to school for lunch, her classmates make fun of what she eats--until one of them tries it for himself.

Rebecca Hochman
Feb 16, 2016 Rebecca Hochman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is perfect to show diversity. Children need to know that not everyone comes from the same culture. Also this shows that you should be willing to try everything at least once. You never know what you will and won't like unless you try it.
L11-Mary Utterback
Feb 02, 2010 L11-Mary Utterback rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asain-american
This book reminded me of being in elementary school and being teaesed because I had 2 different ears. I also, hated eating in fron of my classmates. I never ate anything weird I was just always paranoid about having food in my braces oir something.

Yoko is different because she eats traditional foods from her heritage like sushi. "Ewwww," say all her classmates. They have more traditional food like peanut butter and honey. After realizing that yoko is being teased her teacher decides to have an
Ginnie Grant
Aug 04, 2015 Ginnie Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute book with a good moral lesson on accepting differences and trying new things for children.
Cute. :3 Made me think twice about my local education center's library.
Lauren Stoolfire
This heartwarming tale celebrates diversity and is all about being brave enough to try new things. In this case, Yoko takes sushi to school for lunch but everyone makes fun of her favorite food because it is different from everything else. The teacher tries to assist her by having everyone bring in a foreign dish and then trying a little of everything. Only one classmate tries her sushi and he realizes that he really likes it, so they begin sharing lunches the next day. I would love to see a foo ...more
Matthew Salazar
Sep 13, 2011 Matthew Salazar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a moral to the story. And that moral is not to judge a book by its cover. In this story Yoko is a cat that enjoys sushi. But in her classroom the other animals don't like sushi because they never had it. Throughout the book Yoko is made fun and even called names because she enjoys sushi. Then one day a raccoon in her class decides to try the sushi and after that he enjoys it. So everyday after Yoko and Timothy sat together and enjoyed sharing food. I think this book can teach kids ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Rosemary Wells is the author of a number of popular children's books, most notably the Max and Ruby series which follows the everyday adventures of sibling bunnies - curious three year old Max and bossy seven year old Ruby. She gets the inspiration for Max and Ruby from her two daughters and the experiences they
More about Rosemary Wells...

Other Books in the Series

Yoko (7 books)
  • Yoko's Paper Cranes
  • Yoko Writes Her Name
  • Yoko's Show-and-Tell
  • Yoko Learns to Read
  • Yoko Finds Her Way
  • Yoko's World of Kindness: Golden Rules for a Happy Classroom

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