I can’t believe that Sumo Joe is releasing today! It feels like I have been talking about Sumo Joe for years and now it’s finally real!
Thank you to everyone who has supported me along this journey including authors who have kindly covered Sumo Joe on their blogs:
Caroline Starr Rose: Classroom Connections: Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen
What topics does your book touch upon that would make it a perfect fit for the classroom?
With the Tokyo Olympics coming up in 2020, Sumo Joe would be a tie in. Sumo was one of the sports that the Olympic committee had considered for 2020, but it wasn’t chosen. Karate was one of the sports added for 2020 instead.
Sumo Joe also works for any unit on Asia or Japan. There is also a broader message about sibling rivalry and sibling kindness. Nat Iwata’s illustrations are wonderful and also convey a message of body positivity. Sumo Joe and his friends have a range of body types, but sumo is also a sport where the biggest athlete is not necessarily always the winner.
Vivian Kirkfield: Perfect Picture Book Friday: SUMO JOE Plus Giveaway
Why I like this book:
- Text that keeps us moving with great rhythm and rhyme
- Fabulous illustrations
- Timely topic of inclusivity and girl power
And please don’t forget that the best gift to an author is for you to: buy the book, review the book, tell your friends about the book, and ask your library to add the book to their collection.
Debbi Michiko Florence on DEBtastic Reads: AAPI Heritage Month Book a Day 2019 – 15
Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen with captivating illustrations by Nat Iwata releases on June 11 and is available for preorder. As a Japanese American, I am always on the look-out for #ownvoices books about Japanese Americans and this one looks like it’s going to be great!
A few reviews have also come in:
With a saturation of ninja/ninjutsu books in the market, this is a refreshing new take on the martial arts genre.
Young readers will enjoy this spirited debut with insightful integration of cultural exploration. (Picture book. 3-6)
Newcomers Wenjen and Iwata—who illustrates in a playfully expressive style—offer an affectionate story about good-natured sibling rivalry and refusing to be underestimated. Back matter includes an author’s note and an illustrated glossary relating to sumo and aikido.
Lee and Low also has an awesome Teacher’s Guide for Sumo Joe that is FREE and downloadable.
Sumo Joe Squish Ball GIVEAWAY!
I spotted this squish ball at my work which inspired me to write the picture book snippets of rhyme that were floating around in my head, so naturally, I had to get some made for Sumo Joe. I’m giving away 5 squish balls to 5 winners! Please enter using the Rafflecopter below.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.