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Tasty Baby Belly Buttons

Judy Sierra, Meilo So (Illustrator)


List Price: 17.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

Praise For Tasty Baby Belly Buttons

"A funny, spunky . . . gentle adventure. So's wonderful watercolor illustrations combine Chinese and Japanese artistic traditions with a bold, humorous comic book flair." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Sierra uses just the right combination of droll and dramatic elements. The watercolor illustrations, both detailed and fluid, are the perfect accompaniment  to this deliciously scary adventure." -- School Library Journal, Starred

Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780679893691, 40pp.

Publication Date: May 18, 1999

About the Author

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.