Eight Cousins Books in Cape Cod

I had a wonderful time at Eight Cousins Books in Falmouth, MA on July 17.

I loved the store and the staff, and their very cool alphabet chair.

From L to R: Jasmine Toguchi, Sara, Rosie, Tasha, Mary Fran, Lizzy, Audrie, and me!

The best part, as always, was meeting readers and their families.

BONUS: Eight Cousins Books raffled off a 4-ft plush flamingo as part of the festivities. One lucky reader was VERY happy!  Congratulations!


WIN Jasmine Toguchi Books This Summer!

Now available, all four books in my chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi, about a spunky 8-year-old Japanese American girl growing up in Los Angeles, both in paperback and in hardcover! You can buy them at your favorite indie bookstore or online.

Or if you’re lucky, there are two ways you can win a set this summer (2018)!

1. Post or send a photo of one of the Jasmine Toguchi books at a bookstore or library (and identify the bookstore/library) by August 3 and be entered in a drawing to win a paperback set of all four Jasmine Toguchi books for your home or classroom.

EDITED TO ADD: Congratulations to @Stylishmodernmotherhood on IG for winning the paperback set of the Jasmine Toguchi series with this pic from a Barnes & Noble!

There’s still time to win the hardcover set!

2. Post or share a photo of you or your child reader AND/OR any of the Jasmine Toguchi books on vacation/staycation with you by August 31 and be entered in a drawing to win a hardcover set of all four Jasmine Toguchi books for your home or classroom.

EDITED TO ADD: Congratulations @ReadingThemes on IG for winning the hardcover set of Jasmine Toguchi with this pic from the Cincinnati Zoo!


Winners must have a U.S. or Canada mailing address. When you share on social media, be sure to tag me on Twitter @DebbiMichiko or Instagram @jasminetoguchi. Or you can email me the photo for me to share online.  Winners will be contacted by DM or email and announced here and online.

Good luck!

Flamingo Keeper Pre-Order Giveaway FUN!

It’s almost time! Jasmine Toguchi Flamingo Keeper releases on July 3, 2018!

Jasmine’s best friend, Linnie, has just gotten a puppy. And now Jasmine wants a pet of her own―a flamingo! So when her grandmother sends Jasmine a daruma doll as a surprise gift, Jasmine colors in one doll eye and wishes for a flamingo to keep.

Next, Jasmine tries to convince her parents that she’s responsible enough for a pet. She cleans her room, brushes her teeth, takes out the trash, and, most importantly, researches everything she can about flamingos. But soon it becomes clear that her wish may never come true! Will Jasmine’s daruma doll ever get its second eye? Luckily her big sister, Sophie, has a surprise planned that fulfills Jasmine’s wish beyond her wildest dreams.

A sweet, special story of sisterhood and new responsibilities!

If you have already pre-ordered or pre-order before July 3, you will be eligible for goodies! [US mailing addresses only.] Just email me at jasminetoguchibooks@gmail.com a copy of your proof of purchase, and you will be entered in a weekly drawing. ALL entrants will be eligible for a grand prize. See schedule below.


Every Friday, starting June 8 through June 29, I will draw a name from the previous week’s entries. The winner will receive a group of 2 – 4 prizes from the above photo, plus Jasmine Toguchi bookmarks and stickers. Each week’s winner will be announced here (below) and contacted by email.

Winner of June 1 – 7 giveaway: Neha!

Winner of June 8 – 14 giveaway: Emi!

Winner of June 15 – 21 giveaway: Sarah M!

Winner of June 22 – 28 giveaway: Audrey!

On July 3, launch day, I will draw a name from ALL entrants (including previous winners), emails dated from June 1 – July 2 for the grand prize: A signed hardcover set of the Jasmine Toguchi chapter book series, Mochi Queen, Super Sleuth, Drummer Girl, and Flamingo Keeper; Jasmine Toguchi swag; a daruma doll; a 5×7 print of the illustration from the Flamingo Keeper cover by illustrator Elizabet Vukovic; and a bag personally designed and silkscreened by illustrator Elizabet Vukovic!

Grand Prize Winner (announced on July 3): Cathy!

A big thank you to all of you for supporting Jasmine Toguchi! Good luck and happy reading!

Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl Launch Party

I celebrated the launch of Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl (book 3) at Savoy Bookstore & Cafe in Westerly RI on April 8. It was such a thrill to have the party at one of my favorite indie bookstores and to be surrounded by friends, family, and fans. Big thanks to the bookstore and Elissa Sweet for coordinating the event! (Black and white photo credit: Betsy Devany Macleod).

To help me celebrate, Odaiko New England, performed on taiko drums for the audience. And then as a special treat, audience members were invited to try their hands at taiko! I signed books after. I’m very grateful to all who came out for the party!

Happy Book Birthday, Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl!

Today, April 3, is launch day for book 3 in my chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi!

A Junior Library Guild 2018 Selection

“An enjoyable offering about trying new activities and finding just the right talent that makes us feel “free and strong and happy.”” ―Kirkus

I’m so excited to share this book about third grader Jasmine Toguchi preparing for a school-wide talent show. Her mom introduces her to the Japanese taiko, and Jasmine worries that she might not be good enough in time. A story about having fun and making new friends. For more about the book and to purchase – Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl.

Also check out these posts:

An interview with me on First Book.

On KidLitExchange: I talk about my inspiration for writing the Jasmine Toguchi series

An interview with me on Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook.

Q&A Westerly Sun (Rhode Island)

On Book Riot: Karina Yan Glaser shares her top 20 favorite book releases for April 3, including Drummer Girl!

On NPStation – A video book review by a kid reader (adorable!)

Thank you, as always, for your support!


School Visit!

Thank you Cutchogue East Elementary School for the warm and wonderful welcome!

I spoke with the 2nd and 3rd graders about being a writer, Jasmine Toguchi, mochi, and dreaming big! I loved the origami pals the students made from the activity in Super Sleuth. The students were enthusiastic and attentive, and I enjoyed having lunch with the librarian, Mary Charters, who set up the visit. Sending thanks to the principal, staff, and the students! What a fabulous library and school!



Happy Girl’s Day at Newtonville Books

I had an absolutely wonderful time celebrating Girl’s Day at Newtonville Books on Saturday, March 3.  Girl’s Day or Hinamatsuri (doll festival) is a Japanese celebration honoring girls.

My mom and me on Girl’s Day with the traditional set of dolls representing the Imperial Court

Thank you to the amazing staff – Deb, Margaret, Guna, and to Nikki who set it all up, and to Mary Cotton, fabulous owner who stopped by to say hello (and get books signed)!

Gratitude to the families and kids who showed up to learn about Girl’s Day and hear me read from Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth. I showed the kids a doll from my Girl’s Day display and everyone seemed to enjoy the mochi my husband made. We had fun folding origami, too!

Thanks to my husband, Bob Florence, and friend and blogger Mia Wenjen for the photos!


Kid-Friendly Event at the Pao Arts Center


On Saturday, October 28 at the Pao Arts Center in Boston’s Chinatown, I had the pleasure of working with Susan Tan, author of the middle grade book Cilla Lee-Jenkins, Future Author Extraordinaire.

Families with kids joined us on a beautiful day – we read from our books and ran activities and crafts.

Even the parents participated! We talked about how Jasmine Toguchi and Cilla Lee-Jenkins could possibly be friends and pen pals, and invited kids to write postcards to either Jasmine or Cilla.

The kids were invited to create their own Monster Fighters from Susan’s book, and to fold their own origami pals from Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth.

After the activities, Susan and I signed books for readers, passed out bookmarks, stickers, and pins, and answered questions. It was a fun and wonderful day!

Check out this lovely coloring job of Jasmine by a talented 7-year-old girl:

You can download the Jasmine Toguchi activities and join in the fun!

I am available for school visits. I’m currently booking for Spring 2018.

Junior Library Guild

I am so very honored that Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen is a Junior Library Guild Fall 2017 selection. Yesterday I received my award package with my certificate!

I am filled with deep gratitude to the Junior Library Guild.

Podcast with Clever Cookstr

I owe you all a huge blog post with details from my recent book signings in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston, with a bit about my trip to NYC with my agent and a friend.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a link to an interview I did with Kara Rota of the fascinating and fun Clever Cookstr podcast. After you listen to me talk about my inspiration for Jasmine, my childhood food memories, and making mochi, be sure to check out her other interviews,  too!

Clever Cookstr: Why Mochi is the Perfect Dessert for Kids