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Mia Wenjen

Sumo Joe


In this sweet and funny story, Sumo Joe and his friends enjoy pretending to be sumo wrestlers. But when his little sister wants to join their boy-only game, what should Sumo Joe do?

On Saturday mornings, Sumo Joe is a gentle big brother to his little sister. But on Saturday afternoons, he and his friends are sumo wrestlers! They tie on makeshift mawashi belts, practice drills like teppo, and compete in their homemade dohyo ring. They even observe sumo's ultimate rule: no girls allowed! But when Sumo Joe's little sister wants to join in the fun, Sumo Joe is torn between the two things he's best at--sumo, and being a big brother.

Fists, feet, and martial art forms collide in this sweet yet spirited rhyming story by author Mia Wenjen and illustrator Nat Iwata.


About the Author

MIA WENJEN is a business owner and blogger of Pragmatic Mom, a popular online resource for parents and educators. As the co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day, Mia is passionate about representation in children's picture books. In her spare time, she can be found kickboxing or on hikes with her dog. Wenjen lives in Newtown, Massachusetts with her husband and three children. You can visit her online at and follow her at @pragmaticmom.

NAT IWATA is an artist working in the entertainment industry, and the author/illustrator of The Steampunk Alphabet. Like the characters in Sumo Joe, he's of Japanese descent, and has even practiced a little Aikido, although he has yet to try sumo wrestling. Nat lives in the beautiful Dutch city of Haarlem with his wife and three boys, all of whom serve as an endless source of encouragement and inspiration. You can visit him online at