Once again, big sister Sophie gets to go first -- while Jasmine has to wait another year before she can join her female relatives in the kitchen making mochi to celebrate the Japanese New Year. But Jasmine is not to be deterred! She decides to help the men in her family pound the rice -- the first step in the mochi-making process. While you may not be familiar with the traditions of Japanese-American family celebrations, you are sure to recognize the family drama in all its frustrating but hilarious forms. Jasmine Tocuchi Mouchi Queen is an excellent choice to kick of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
And in case your are intrigued by the idea of mochi, take a look at this Japanese video about pounding the rice.