A stray kitty gets a job in a sumo stable, chasing mice in exchange for food. But when eating like a sumo wrestler slows our feline hero down, he realizes he must train like a wrestler, too. Through hard work and perseverance--and with a little help from a big buddy--SumoKitty is born! A funny and heartwarming story inspired by the Japanese saying "Fall down seven times, stand up eight."
Kitty watches the rikishi practice and eats lots and lots of mice until he is fat and the mice are gone. However, the mice see an opportunity and they return, laughing at Kitty. Okamisan kicks Kitty out, but one of the rikishi lets him back in, and Kitty begins to train like the rikishi. Before long, he is able to get rid of the mice once again, but this time, Kitty is able to get rid of them- and gets a new name, SumoKitty!
What I loved: This book is a great story about practice, training, and working towards your goals. The book begins with some sayings and explanations, which is perfect (or should we say purr-fect) for younger readers. Everything is explained at the right reading level to make sure this is just right for elementary-aged readers. Children can also learn a lot about rikishi and their lives, making it even more educational.
The illustrations are fabulous- full page, colorful, and entertaining. With some comic-style panels throughout, they have broad appeal to a wide range of ages. The details, characters, and overall design is perfectly suited to the story and age group. Biedrzycki has done an absolutely gorgeous job on writing and illustrating this picture book.
Final verdict: Delightful, entertaining, and encouraging, SUMOKITTY infuses great life lessons into a clever story about a stray cat who falls down seven times and gets up eight (to use the saying featured in the book). Highly recommend for anyone who loves a great story and beautiful imagery combined with some great underlying messages. Children and parents will both adore SumoKitty and his story.