My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eight-year-old Jasmine is excited about the upcoming school talent show and while she is confident about her talents, she’s not so sure which one she should put on display for the whole school to see. She’s bubbling over with exhilaration and thinks that a talent show sounds like a great deal of fun but when the new girl Maggie starts bragging about how great she is at everything, Jasmine starts to doubt herself and questions how good she really is at the things she knows how to do. Is it enough to just have fun at the talent show or should she work hard to outdo the perfect new girl?
This is the first book that I’ve read in the Jasmine Toguchi series and I really enjoyed it. Jasmine is a lovable character who is full of spunk and tenacity. Her story is sprinkled with educational gems too. In Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl, I learned a few Japanese words: taiko (drum), bachi (sticks), and hachi-maki (headband). There’s even a how-to guide in the back of the book that provides step-by-step instructions on making a headband like the one Jasmine wore. Lastly, the author’s note at the end provides additional information about historic and contemporary uses of the taiko.