Japanese / Japan

Itoko no taijūkei
(Itoko’s bathroom scale)

Itō, Miku (text)
Satō, Makiko (illus.)
Tōkyō: Dōshinsha, 2013. – 255 p.
ISBN 978-4-494-01956-4

School | Friendship | Rivalry | Self-discipline | Obesity | Diet

Eleven-year-old Itoko can’t help being seduced by the wonderful dishes offered at school and at home. As a result she is plump, though she feels good and eating helps her feel less depressed and cope with mundane stress. When she defends a corpulent classmate from the pranks of a girl clique at school, she decides to lose some weight herself. This is a real challenge for her. Will diet and exercise work?

This book is composed of five chapters, in which students of both genders speak out about problems they face in their daily school and home lives. At the centre stands Itoko, whose naturalness, honesty, and compassion help others, even if she sometimes seems overly gruff and direct. Miku Itō’s lively debut about self-discipline, rivalry, and friendship won the New Authors Prize of the 53rd Japanese Association of Writers for Children. (Age: 11+)