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  • Writer's pictureShoumi Sen

Sumo Joe - Book Review for Multicultural Children's Book Day 2020

This is a story about two siblings who go into a friendly battle in which little sister wins! Sumo Joe is a gentle big brother to little Aikido Jo most of the day, but when their living room gets transformed into a Dohyo (a ring where sumo bouts are fought), all bets are off! Who will win this epic battle between Sumo Joe and Aikido Jo? That's what this book is about.

While Joe and his friends are getting ready for Sumo, little Jo leaves to go practice Aikido (or so it seems from the gym bag she is carrying). When she is back, the boys are seriously practicing Sumo. When Jo wants to join the fray, the boys tell that they cannot let a girl enter their ‘sacred space’!

What’s a girl to do? Well, if you are as spirited as little Jo, you invite your big brother to a friendly match to show off your moves and use the tactics of Aikido to effectively win against a bigger opponent.

The story is in rhyme and the illustrations are wonderful. I knew very little about Sumo and nothing about Aikido before I read this book. However, this cute story, along with the illustrated glossary at the back, the author’s note, and the illustrations helped me get familiar with them. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to build a diverse library so your kids can learn about martial arts forms from Japan.

The author is Mia Wenjen, a huge supporter of diverse books and I am grateful to have received this book for MCBD2020. The illustrator, Nat Iwata does a great job with the illustrations and this book is a Lee and Low Books publication. Thank you, Mia, for my very own signed copy of Sumo Joe!


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





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 Groove, Lauren 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

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

· Our New FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit

· Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators

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.

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