Yoshiko and the Foreigner
by Mimi Otey-Little
Though the main characters of this story are young adults, the story is very beautiful, and the heroism and fortitude in it make it something of a fairytale!
Yoshiko, a proper young Japanese woman, has been raised to never speak to foreigners – especially soldiers. But when a young American officer tries to communicate with a train conductor and can only say phrases like “You see, I’m a boiled cabbage!”, Yoshiko helps the young man in spite of herself in perfect English, and so their courtship begins. Yoshiko is worried what her family will think of the American, who has been dutifully studying Japanese ever since he met Yoshiko and wants Yoshiko’s family’s approval to marry her. Through the many gifts and acts of kindness the American shows Yoshiko’s family, he demonstrates his profound respect for their traditions and his love for Yoshiko.
The end page of the book is a black and white photograph of the couple’s actual wedding. A truly sweet, touching story about love, perseverance, and embracing other cultures and ideas. Best for kids ages 5 and up.
~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the children’s picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts. Too Many Visitors is now available as an ibook for ipad and iphones with a fun read-aloud musical narration. http://bit.ly/ibookVisitors ~