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Tasty Baby Belly Buttons

Judy Sierra

106 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0440417384 / ISBN 13: 9780440417385
Published by Dragonfly Books, 2001
Condition: Good Soft cover
From Books Express (Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Tasty Baby Belly Buttons

Publisher: Dragonfly Books

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title

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.

Review:

Those nasty oni are at it again, tromping through the village in search of their favorite delicacy--baby belly buttons. But the giant ogres, with their red and green faces, horns, and sharp teeth, have no idea what they're getting into when they cross Uriko-hime. This remarkable little girl is furious at the audacity of the oni, and she is determined to fight back. (Luckily for her, she was born from a melon, and therefore has no navel!) With the help of her trusty dog, a bag of delicious millet dumplings, and a pheasant and a monkey she picks up along the way, Uriko stomps off to find the monsters and the kidnapped babies. This retelling of one of Japan's most popular folktales is sure to enchant every belly-button-sporting reader in the family. Pitching small against big, brain against brawn, this is a uniquely satisfying endeavor, especially for the underdogs of the world. Meilo So's gorgeous Japanese-style illustrations (also seen in The Beauty of the Beast) provide unusual and pleasing perspectives, looking from below up the mean oni's nostrils, for example. Readers may spend hours lost in the exquisite patterns of the clothing or the rich colors of the pheasant. (Ages 6 to 10) --Emilie Coulter

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