Winner: Riverbank Review's 2001 Children's Books of Distinction Awards
Winner: Teacher's Choices 2001: International Reading Association
Winner: Vermont's Picture Book Award: Red Clover 2001
Winner: Charlotte Zolotow Award, Highly Commended Title, 2001
Nominee: Indiana Young Hoosier Award
Starred Reviews: School Library Journal and Horn Book Magazine
Fan maker Yoshi loves the delectable smell of the eels broiled by his fishmonger neighbor, Sabu. But he also loves the sound of the coins jingling in his money box, and so he never actually buys the eels, content just to smell them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Struggling to make a living selling his eels, Sabu is furious with Yoshi for his stubbornness, and demands payment for all the eels Yoshi has sniffed. Yoshi retaliates by performing a wild coin-rattling dance in the street: "chin jara... chin jara jara...." When he finishes, he tells Sabu, "You have charged me for the smell of your eels, and I have paid you with the sound of my money." Is there any hope of reconciliation for these feuding neighbors?
Adapted from the Japanese folktale "Smells and Jingles," this hilarious story shows that in business and in life you usually get what you pay for. Compromise often ends up being the most satisfying arrangement all around. Yumi Heo's oil, pencil, and collage illustrations are the real treasure. Readers of all ages will pore over the rich golds, greens, and reds, returning to the story again and again to savor this feast for their eyes. For children 4 - 8 years.
As an adult, I became fascinated with Japanese folklore. One day at the library, I discovered a very old tale, "Smells and Jingles" in William Elliot Griffis's Japanese Fairy World (1880). When I first read it, I laughed so loudly that I disturbed everyone in the library. I decided to adapt this story for children, as I knew that they would laugh, too!
"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... Told with memorable humor, visually harmonious, Yoshi's Feast is a feast indeed."
The Horn Book Magazine, starred review