Mighty Mountain and the Three Strong Women

Irene Hedlund, Author Volcano Press $14.95 (27p) ISBN 978-0-912078-86-1
Considering its rather circuitous route, this picture book about Japanese sumo wrestlers (originally published in Denmark and now translated into English) holds up fairly well. The theme of strong women--here, three generations of a Japanese family--overpowering a supposedly Herculean man (Mighty Mountain, a big brute and sumo aspirant) is somewhat heavy-handed; though commendable for its concerns with women's equality (in this case, actually, women's dominance). On his way to the emperor's wrestling match, Mighty Mountain meets gentle-seeming Kuniko, who literally drags him home to meet the family. Mother appears, carrying the family cow on her shoulders (she ``gets sore feet, if I let her walk on the stony paths''); Grandma uproots an enormous tree because she has stumbled over it once too often. The three women agree that the ``poor weak man'' needs taking in hand, and they turn him into the Oriental Hulk Hogan. The characters have a certain charm, the Japanese costumes are colorfully authentic and the overall mood is quietly amusing. Ages 6-12. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
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