A Diverse Picture Book that Empowers Girls to be Confident | Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen

Sumo Joe

Guest post by Veronica Jorge

(This book was a gift to review for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 event 1/31/20. #ReadYourWorld)

 

A Diverse Picture Book that Empowers Girls to be Confident | Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen

Sumo Joe

It seems like just another Saturday afternoon. Sumo Joe and his friends transform the living room into a sumo wrestling ring, perform their training exercises, and practice their moves. But when Sumo Joe’s little sister, Aikido Jo, shows up and enters their boys-only space, the boys are thrown off balance and protest.  Joe’s little sister challenges her big brother to a competition: her martial arts aikido against his sumo skills. Sumo Joe faces a greater challenge: enforce the sumo tradition of no women, or accept and include his little sister?

In Sumo Joe, Mia Wenjen introduces the reader to the ancient art of sumo wrestling and to some of the cultural traditions of Japan. The story told in rhyme, also empowers girls to be confident.  Most of all, Wenjen highlights the importance of conflict resolution and shows the importance and beauty of sibling harmony.

Mia Wenjen

The illustrations by Nat Iwata are a colorful muted palette of blue, yellow, grey, pink, beige and brown that softens and calms the action of the story. Joe’s colorful multi-ethnic friends support diversity and acceptance.  The walls of the home are lined with the portrait of a somber-faced prominent ancient ancestor surrounded by modern-day family photos that add warmth and balance to the story as well.

An illustrated glossary depicts and identifies the terms used in the story in greater detail and includes additional cultural and historical information.  The author’s note explains a sumo match and how Sumo Joe and his friends re-create the traditions in their own way.

Sumo Joe, a story of tradition, confidence, family, and love is a thoughtful and enjoyable read for children…and adults!

 

About Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

 

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings,

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls,

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers Books,  TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

 

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 

Manager, Educator, and former High School Social Studies teacher, Veronica credits her love of history to the potpourri of cultures that make up her own life and to her upbringing in diverse Brooklyn, New York.  Her Work In Progress, a Young Adult Novel based on a search into her ethnic roots, explores identity, belonging, and self-discovery. Her genres of choice are historical fiction, where she always makes new discoveries, literary works because she loves beautiful writing, and children’s picture books because there are so many wonderful worlds yet to be imagined and visited. She currently resides in Macungie, PA., but she’s still a Brooklyn girl at heart. How sweet it is!

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