Leonard S. Marcus
While even friends can sometimes come to blows over a trifle, the happy conclusion of this elegantly illustrated retelling of a traditional Japanese tale points to a better and far tastier way of working out one's differences.
Parent's Choice WWW
A winning collaboration.
Miserly Yoshi has no intention of paying for the eels his neighbor Sabu broils each day to sell; and though Sabu lacks customers and always has leftovers, he refuses to share. Yoshi contents himself with the eels' delicious aroma, but when Sabu suggests that Yoshi owes him for the smell of his eels, Yoshi 'pays' with the jingle of coins he's starved by not actually eating them. Sabu retaliates by cooking samma, 'the stinkiest fish in all Japan.' Fortunately, this time Yoshi's response is constructive: if Sabu will cook eel again, Yoshi will attract customers. And so he dose, with the same flamboyant, money-jingling dance he used earlier to taunt his poor neighbor. Now Sabu can afford to share his eels and friendship with his former antagonist. According to a note, the story is adapted from a tale in William Elliot Griffis's Japanese Fairy World (1880. It resonates on several levels: the evolution of the neighbors' relationship from foolish separatism to cooperative friendship models the way sharing resources and know-how can benefit communities, or countries, as well as individuals. Still, the primary focus of this perfectly paced tale is on the fun, especially in Yumi Heo's handsome multimedia illustrations. Collages of bright patterns resembling brocades and other fabrics are combined with pencil and paint to create expressive figures that move bold yet sinuous grace, now across a pure white ground, now through a subtly textured setting, now through an artful complex of vignettes. Told with memorable humor, visually harmonious, Yoshi's Feast is a feast indeed.
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
The lively mixed-media art is a stand-out...
...Through Yumi Heo's lively and colorful illustrations, we see beautiful kimonos, tidy villages, exciting fan dances, and other glimpses of Japanese culture and life. The story itself... transcends the borders of Japan (as an age-old theme told in a new and entertaining manner.
Yumi Heo's illustrations feature beautifully patterned fabrics and slightly tipped and rounded lines that make the interconnectedness of neighbors seem comfortable.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Heo's elegantly intricate illustrations, done in oil, pencil, and collage, are filled with an appealing, swaying movement.
Copley News Service
The tale's rich text and splendid authentic Japanese pictorials make (this book a lively, classy story.
Graded A Parenting
...this elegantly illustrated retelling of a traditional Japanese tale points to a betterand far tastier-way of working out one's differences.
A hilarious yarn.
'Yoshi's Feast, ' with its eye-catching illustrations and bouncy text, is a crowd pleasure.
Akron Beacon Journal
Heo's rich illustrations in pencil, oil and collage and Kajikawa's story of the neighbors' lesson provide a wonderful way... to impart generational wisdom.
[This book] with its eyecatching illustrations and bouncy text, is a crowd pleaser.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Japanese-American Kajikawa's (Sweet Dreams: How Animals Sleep) desire to learn more about her heritage led her to this humorous folktale, adapted from a collection published more than a century ago. This tale takes a story that may be familiar to readers (the baker who wishes to charge a passerby for the privilege of smelling his baked goods) one step further. Fan maker Yoshi enjoys the aroma of his next-door neighbor Sabu's grilled eels, which make Yoshi's simple meals of rice more appetizing. One day, Sabu demands that Yoshi pay for the eels that he has smelled, so Yoshi repays Sabu in kind: the fan maker shakes his box of coins, and thus offers Sabu the sound of his money. Sabu takes his revenge on his neighbor by cooking smelly fish, prompting Yoshi to make peace--and a friendship springs up between them as they both benefit from the fan maker's plan. Kajikawa's eloquent, economic prose matches the spare compositions of Heo's (Pets!; One Afternoon) pencil and oil collages, incorporating handmade Japanese paper. The energizing palette of mustard, russet and olive with blue accents adds flair to the compositions, which resemble Japanese woodblock prints, and the characters' facial expressions and body language heighten the comical moments. While young readers will be swept up in the neighbors' conflict, they will also witness a fair and resourceful solution to a seeming impasse. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This adaptation of a Japanese folk tale occurs in other versions as well. Here Yoshi, a fan maker, who loves broiled eels, has a neighbor, Sabu, who cooks them but has few customers. Yoshi thinks Sabu should share with him; Sabu thinks Yoshi should buy from him. But stingy Yoshi simply enjoys the smell. Angrily Sabu gives him a bill for the smell. Yoshi dances to the sound of coins and claims to have paid in kind. Sabu retaliates by cooking terrible-smelling fish. Yoshi finally figures out how to make peace with his neighbor. Heo captures the comic implications by exaggerating the actions. Oval heads with black hair move on top of elongated bodies created from elaborately printed papers. The simple settings add a Japanese flavor. But it is the curving arms and torsos accompanied by equally mobile lines of type, like "chin chin jara jara" for the dance, that help create the happy rhythm of the telling of the universal human story. 2000, DK Ink/Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc., Ages 4 to 8, $15.95. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia MarantzChildren's Literature
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-A striking adaptation of a folktale found in William Elliot Griffis's Japanese Fairy World (Barhyte, 1880), but with a motif found in folklore in many other countries. In faraway Yedo, Yoshi, a fan maker, savors the aroma of his neighbor's broiling eels but he chooses only to eat his own steamed rice. When talented but underemployed Sabu learns that this potential customer is saving money instead of patronizing his hibachi, he demands compensation. Instead of parting with coins, Yoshi shakes his coin box and dances through the street to its jingle. After Sabu shrieks his dissatisfaction with this form of "payment," he seeks revenge by cooking vast quantities of foul-smelling samma. "Neighbor, you get what you pay for," retorts Sabu when Yoshi complains about the odor. After several days of retribution, Yoshi capitulates and offers a compromise: he performs a dance that draws crowds while Sabu cooks only fragrant eels for his newfound clientele. In the end, Yoshi not only enjoys complimentary eel, but also the companionship of a new friend. Heo echoes a classic style in her distinctive combination of oil, pencil, and collage. When Yoshi dances, he, his coins, and the text all dance through double-page spreads as Heo lends life and humor to the two-dimensional art form that she adapts.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|