By Author / Illustrator
Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
New in paperback. Kaito is stronger than all the other boys in his village. Because no one can beat him at wrestling, he sets off to the city to compete in the world-famous Sumo wrestling tournament. But on the way he meets a girl called Hana, who is even stronger. Hana offers to train Kaito - with amazing results.
Set in Kyoto, Japan, The Strongest Boy in the World follows Kaito in his journey to becoming the Wrestling World Champion. Like many children, Kaito has dreams to emulate his heroes and became one of them. He believes he is tough enough to beat the best. The only trouble is, Kaito is best known for being the 'skinny boy' of the village. From the start it seems that the odds are stacked against the boy until he meets an unlikely mentor who teaches him the art of perservence and dedication. Over time, Kaito trains and trains and trains until he is ready compete. Will he have what it takes? I enjoyed reading this book but I felt somewhat let down by the flow of the story. I found it difficult to really immerse myself and the children into it. The story does act as a wonderful link to Japan for anyone using the country as topic focus, which luckily a class within my school are. I am sure they will find it most useful and imagine that Sumo Wrestling will be something the children would like to learn more about after reading this book. Throughout the book, there is the underlying message of being patient and working hard for your dreams, something which would benefit any child in the primary age range. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.
Suggested Reading Age 5+