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“A touching and timely story about a biracial girl who is excited to spend time with her American grandmother and her Japanese grandmother.”

The Wakame Gatherers

Written by Holly Thompson
Illustrated by Kazumi Wilds
Published by Lee & Low Books

Nanami has two grandmothers: Bāchan, who lives with Nanami’s family in Japan, and Gram, who lives in Maine. When Gram visits Japan, Bāchan takes her and Nanami on a trip to the seaside to gather wakame, a long, curvy seaweed that grows near the shore.

While the three assemble their equipment and walk to the beach, Bāchan explains how wakame and other seaweeds are used in Japan. Gram shares stories about how seaweeds are used in Maine, and Nanami translates for them both.

By the end of the day, Nanami’s two grandmothers discover that they have much in common despite being from countries that fought in World War II, which they both remember. Looking out across the beach at surfers, dog walkers, and seaweed gatherers, they share an appreciation of this precious peace.

Holly Thompson’s beautiful prose captures the exuberance of a young girl who easily traverses two cultures and languages. It also illuminates the love and understanding that grows between two older women who are so different, yet share an unbreakable bond. Kazumi Wilds’s vivid paintings make the Japanese landscape and the rocky shores of Maine come alive, reminding us all that we share this earth and the peace that we create.

Primary ISBN:
Available As: Paperback
Picture Book, Age 04 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , ,

Setting: Japan

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: In Home Country

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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Author Talk on Wakame + Read Aloud

Educators Guide

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Source: Lee & Low Books