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Debbi Michiko Florence (The Children's Book Podcast #452)

July 24, 2018



Debbi Michiko Florence (@DebbiMichiko) is the author of JASMINE TOGUCHI series, which recently saw the publication of it's fourth book, JASMINE TOGUCHI, FLAMINGO KEEPER. Jasmine's imagination, stick-to-itiveness, and occasional stubborn insistence makes her a compelling and endearing character, and one who's hard to forget. Debbi shares how she previously considered herself a middle grade writer and that she tried for a time not to write this chapter book series. It's a good thing for all of us that her main character was determined to have her stories told.




Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker!


She's also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie—something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before.


But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year's Day?






Debbi is the author of the chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi, about a spunky 8-year-old Japanese American girl. Jasmine Toguchi Mochi Queen, Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth, Jasmine Toguchi Drummer Girl, and Jasmine Toguchi Flamingo Keeper are all available for purchase now. 


Before she started writing as my career, she worked at a pet store, volunteered as a raptor rehabilitator, interned as a zookeeper’s aide, taught fifth grade, and was the Associate Curator of Education for the Detroit Zoo.


A third generation Japanese American and a native Californian, she was born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles. She's called many places home – Michigan, Mexico, Massachusetts, New York, and China. Today, She lives in Connecticut with my husband, a rescue dog named Kiku, a bunny named Aki, and two ducks named Darcy and Lizzy. I love to travel with my husband and daughter. Some of my favorite places are Tokyo, Kyoto, Paris, and Provence.


Learn more about Debbi Michiko Florence at


And purchase any one of Debbi's books for you, your readers, a friend, or a library HERE.






*This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site. 





Thank you, JENNY SUE, AMY, KATE, DARSHANA, NOCOLE, JARRETT, MIKE, LINK, ANITRA, LYNN, CYNTHIA, DOUG, AMANDA, RUTH, LARA, JUDI, CORRINA, TERESA, ELAINE and the van load of others who are coming with me on this journey. You’re welcome to join us. Just visit and pick the support tier that’s right for you. All the hugs and high fives for all of the many, many ways all of out there listening support this show.


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