Tasty Baby Belly Buttons by Judy Sierra

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Synopsis

According to legend, Japanese villagers once lived in fear of great hulking ogres called Onis who considered babies' belly buttons the tastiest of all treats. When they raided a village it was the babies they stole. In a delightful retelling of the folktale, Judy Sierra has added a feminist twist in the person of a fearless young heroine, determined to stop them. Little Urikohme, or Melon Princess, was born inside a watermelon and has no bellybutton. She travels to the Onis' fortress island, and with the help of some animal friends, rescues the babies, leaving the Onis crying for mercy. A wonderful short tale to read aloud, children will gleefully join in the Onis' chant and cheer at the triumph of small over large. In cleverly inspired watercolors, Meilo So outfits the Melon Princess in a watermelon-designed kimono and her humorous depiction of the oversized bullies is sure to elicit giggles. An author's note discusses the origin of the tale and its place in Japanese folklore.
 

About Judy Sierra

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\Judy Sierra was a puppeteer, a storyteller, and a professor of children's literature before becoming a full-time writer of children's books. She is the author of Antarctic Antics, Counting Crocodiles, Nursery Tales Around the World, and other highly acclaimed books. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.Meilo So was born in Hong Kong. She attended secondary school and Brighton College of Art in Great Britain, returning to Hong Kong to begin her career. She is the illustrator of the award-winning The Beauty and the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom, selected by Jack Prelutsky. She now lives on the south coast of England.
 
Published May 18, 1999 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 40 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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PLB 0-679-99369-X Inspired by local versions of a popular Japanese folktale, Sierra (Antarctic Antics, 1998, etc.) recasts a yarn that usually stars Momotaro, or ā€œPeach Boy,ā€ with a female lead.

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Publishers Weekly

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Despite the implications of its title, Sierra's retelling of a Japanese fairy tale is full of sweetness, and stars an engaging, pint-size heroine. Uriko, born from the middle of a watermelon, has no b

May 03 1999 | Read Full Review of Tasty Baby Belly Buttons

Publishers Weekly

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""This retelling of a Japanese fairy tale [in which a girl who is born from the middle of a watermelon has no belly button] is full of sweetness and stars an engaging pint-size heroine,"" said PW.

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Publishers Weekly

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Sierra (Antarctic Antics) liberally sprinkles the narrative with Japanese words--the oni tromp into town, zushin zushin, and the babies cry, boro boro.

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Common Sense Media

Big monsters munch baby belly buttons, but a little girl defeats a gang of them and rescues a bunch of babies.

Jan 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Tasty Baby Belly Buttons

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