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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Natsumi is small but full of big exuberance, and puts her girl-power to good use when she discovers a Japanese tradition as energetic as she is.

When Natsumi's family practices for their town's Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn't go any
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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I thought this book was really cute and was really into it until I realized it was written by a white woman. That made me feel a little hesitant about recommending it because I'm trying to move towards "own voices" more with my recommendations.
La Coccinelle
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This was really cute. It's all about a little girl named Natsumi who's... well, energetic. Tea ceremonies and fan dancing just aren't her thing. But she really wants to do something for the village festival. Luckily, her grandfather knows just the thing...

The pictures were great, perfectly capturing Natsumi's rambunctious spirit. I also loved her little Godzilla toy that she carried with her throughout the book. Too cute.

We learn a bit about some traditional Japanese arts, and there's a good mes
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: preschool-1st grade
Shelves: family, picture-books
There are many girls like Natsumi -- exuberant, energetic, not to be contained -- and this was a good story about individuals finding their niche. The first four pages introducing Natsumi could be showing a girl in just about any country, a girl of any race. But there are some issues with the writer inspired while on vacation, deciding which part of another country's culture was traditional and including references such as sumo wrestler and samurai to help place the story in Japan. Some kids rea ...more
I really enjoyed Natsumi! I loved the the opening page with her umbrella! I think that a lot of little girls often get told they're being too something when they're young and people want them to be tamer. And sometimes it's hard for kids to find their thing. It was refreshing to see her find her thing that let her use her enthusiasm and loudness with the help of her grandfather. I saw a lot of my own toddler daughter in Natsumi, who tends to do everything full force, and I hope the world doesn't ...more
Danielle H
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have a student at school with this name who looks very much like the little girl on the cover. She also has a ton of spirit. A really sweet picture book with elements of Japanese culture about finding the thing that's going to be your best fit.
Juli Anna
I love Natsumi! This book is a beautiful introduction to Japanese culture, and its fierce little protagonist is a real heart-stealer. What a fantastic book for those who just don't quite fit in.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime-books
I loved this. Great surprise at the end. Fantastic illustrations.
Robyn Schultz
Natsumi dances to the beat of her own drummer. This funny, exuberant little girl doesn't quite fit in. With the help of her wise Grandfather, Natsumi finds a place that works perfectly for her.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Natsumi is a little girl with lots of exuberance in everything she does. She moves fast, plays hard and makes a lot of noise. When her family starts to prepare for a festival featuring traditional Japanese arts, Natsumi struggles to figure out where she fits in. She moves too fast for flower arranging. She stirs the tea too hard in the tea ceremony. She is too loud for the dance routine. Her grandfather though has an idea of where she might fit right in, but it’s a secret until the festival.

Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Natsumi may be small in stature, but she is BIG in spirit. Everything she does, she puts her whole self into...sometimes quite literally. Tea mixing time? Gentle swirls become a raging cyclone. Fan dance practice? Graceful fan flicks become swishes and clicks echoing off the walls. Rain storm outside? No simple umbrella or galoshes for this girl; she'll take them all and then some with a puddle splash for good measure! Yes, Natsumi is one of a kind, but as her outbursts aren't always appreciated
Hmmm. What are grown-ups to do with energetic, inadvertently destructive child, especially when the child is female? Apparently TAIKO DRUMMING is the answer. Well, hey, what's not to love? I like the idea of channeling energy and zest for life into a productive activity, and this book certainly does that.
But how it gets there, and why an author and illustrator seemingly outside the culture of Japan and its peoples chose this story and its trajectory remain a bit of a puzzle to me. Yes, it's good
Darcie Caswell
Natsumi is a force of her own. She is often too loud, too fast, does things too hard. As her family prepares for a cultural festival Natsumi tries helping her grandmother with the flowers, but she shakes them too hard. She tries helping her father with the tea, but she stirs too fast. She tries helping her mother with dancing but she is too loud. Finally, her grand father finds just the right way for Natsumi to participate. It's a secret until the end, when her family sees her performing with th ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Isadora LOVES this book about a little girl who does everything in a big way. I have some questions about its authenticity since it's written and illustrated by white western women (does it take place in Japan or in the U.S.? It's hard to tell. Is "shaking out the bugs" a key step in Japansese flower arranging? Are there more official names for these traditional Japanese arts than just "flower arranging" and "tea" and "dance"?) I feel like involving a Japanese person in the creation of this book ...more
mary dewley
Natsumi does everything in her family and in her village, a little louder and more boisterous than most! She is a kind girl who just can't find her niche as everything she attempts seems to end in a bit of a disaster. One day, grandfather takes her someplace special, and on the day of the festival, Natsumi finds a wonderful way of showcasing her energy and impressing the village. It was perfect timing that I received a copy this week. I am taking my daughter to see Taiko drumming and this story ...more
Aww Autumn Nights
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Natsumi is absolutely adorable. For a parent, this book reminds me to not be so impatient with my own kid(s). Children are so full of life and adventure that sometimes as mom's or dad's we forget to help them embrace who they are. This story is so cute because everyone picked on Natsumi for being well... Natsumi. She is wild, and carefree, and loud. Everyone kept trying to change her but grandpa saw who she was and helped her embrace all of those characteristics and channel her energy into somet ...more
Tori Huynh
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Natsumi is a young Japanese girl who does not fit into her family, culture, and community. Her rambunctious spirit is too much for tea ceremonies, fan dances, and other ceremonial activities. Her grandfather helps her find her niche in using her energetic personality into another aspect of her culture: taiko drumming. From there, she finds her individuality is valued and she learns to stay true to herself. The emotive illustrations helps to depict emotions and attitudes to guide the reader on a ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Lendroth, Susan Natsumi! Illustrated by Priscilla Burris. Putnam (Penguin), 2018. $17. 9780399170904.

Natsumi is a busy, busy girl. Her grandmother, mother, and father are always telling her to slow down, be quieter, and be gentler. Her grandfather sees her frustration and quietly helps her find another way to express her joy.

Super, super cute! Perfect for a generation of louder, more independent girls.

Pre-K, EL (K-3) – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher
Kat Harrison
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Natsumi!" is a sweet tribute to kids who may make a little more noise, or may do things a little bit off-center. Lendroth's message is you! The illustrations and story are laced with Japanese culture, and I was especially fond of the relationship between Natsumi and her grandfather, who acts as her champion in a world/family that is trying to dim her inner light. The percussionist in me was also excited to see how the book incorporated Taiko drumming.
Emma Andje
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Natsumi's effervescent personality means she is a bit too energetic for her family's quiet tasks of flower picking, tea pouring, and traditional Japanese dancing. With her grandfather's help, she may just find the perfect activity to match her big personality so she can participate in her village's upcoming festival. Natsumi! is an sensational celebration of culture, identity, and family!

I was given an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Jade Contreras
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Natsumi is a picture book about a Japanese family who is preparing for their town's art festival. Natsumi is a little girl who is full of excitement- so much that her family often tells her to be quiet. She has a hard time fitting in to a specific talent to contribute to the festival. However, Natsumi's grandfather loves her exuberance and works with her on something special for the big festival. This would be a good book for first through third graders.
Allison Tubaugh
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Genre: contemporary realistic ( diverse perspective )

Grades: k-4

Natsumi is not your average little girl. She is very rough, loud, plays hard and does most things in a big way. Most of the time she’s too rough and her family scolds her, but she finds a way to use all that energy up at the Chinese festival. To see how she does it you’ll have to read.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this new family story about a Japanese child finding her own way among tea ceremonies, dancing, picking flowers and other activities. She is a normal loud, boisterous child who is corrected by family members and tries to do what they do. Then grandfather who is patient, listens, and supports her finding the right place in a village celebration.
Natsumi's exuberance and oversized personality don't easily fit into her family's cultural celebration, until a kind and understanding grandparent finds the perfect way for her to join in.

I loved Natsumi's enthusiasm, her ability to keep trying, and her eventual discovery that she didn't have to change in order to fit in.
Alyssa Gudenburr
A very cute book about being different and finding out what you are good at. Natsumi is too loud, too fast, and too rough according to her family. Only her grandfather understands and helps her find a Japanese tradition just right for her. It is a longer book so it would be better for elementary students.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really cute book about a spirited little girl. I love it because as an adult, it reminds me to do less shushing and be more like the grandpa in the story. I also love that it’s a female protagonist in a chidkdrens book (and I have 2 boys). My 4 year old loves Natsumi!!
Danielle Hammelef
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you love spunky, energetic characters that never give up, you will love Natsumi-chan. I adored the family relationships in this book, especially Natsumi and her grandfather. This book is fun and will also melt your heart. The illustrations are bright and perfect for Natsumi.
Jenny Yergin
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the artwork and the story. I think this is wonderful, it is hard to find a place for young children to fit into in a celebration and this was perfect. I love how she is unique, I have a little girl a lot like her at home.
Natsumi lives her life full of energy --- but it is often too loud, too fast, or too rough for her gentle Japanese family. Her grandfather helps her find a way to channel her special talents to share at the town festival. Very cute book.
Mary Lee
Instead of correcting her, Natsumi's grandfather finds the perfect outlet for her energy. (Bonus -- readers get to experience life with a Japanese family preparing for the Japanese Arts Festival in their town.)
Donna Mork
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Natsumi does everything loud, fast, and hard. She tries to do things for the festival but messes up each time. Most things required quiet, slow, and soft. Then she finds the right fit....DRUMS. Now she is very loud and it's perfect.
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Grew up reading anything about the past (histories); learned to love much about the future (science fiction); and now find my favorite books to be puzzling (mysteries). But as a children's author, I write picture books.

Find out what's new with my books, and laugh a little about the writing process, with my Author Page on Facebook:

Agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Li
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