Published by Candlewick Press
Summary: Joey loves things that fold—tacos, road maps, his foldaway bed—so when Sarah Takimoto’s mother comes to his school one day to demonstrate origami, Joey is captivated. He asks Mrs. Takimoto to teach him, to which she wisely replies, “I can show you the folds. But if you want to be an origami master, you’ll need practice and patience.” So Joey goes home and folds everything in sight. After going through his homework, his sister’s sheet music, Aunt Vivian’s recipe, and the $38 in his mother’s purse, his family has had enough. Discouraged, Joey wanders into the neighboring Mexican restaurant, where the sympathetic owner gives him a job folding napkins. He starts simply, but doesn’t give up, and after months of practice, he is finally able to create a masterpiece. Includes instructions for an origami ladybug. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: A charming story about the importance of persistence when learning a new skill. Joey, who appears to be African-American, is taught by a Japanese American woman and helped by his Mexican American neighbor in a multicultural friendly community.
Cons: Apparently I lack the “grit” necessary to master origami, because even the ladybug looks a bit challenging to me.