The Funny Little Woman


In the absence of their dumpling maker, they formed the Plastic Oni Band.

This is a weird book. It is based on a tale by someone else and retold by the author. It's about a woman who lived in Japan and liked to make rice dumplings. She loses a dumpling and starts chasing it. It falls down through the earth and she follows and gets captured by oni (basically Japanese demons) and forced to make dumplings for them using a magic paddle that turns one grain of rice into two and so forth, keeping her captive. She escapes with the paddle, trying to go home. She rows across a river, but to stop her the oni drink the water. She falls, but keeps trying to run. The sight of her getting stuck in the mud, still trying to escape, makes them laugh so much that they spit out the water, and she gets back in the boat and continues rowing away. She gets back to home and uses the magic paddle to make rice dumplings to sell and becomes the richest woman in Japan. The end.

It's very weird. It feels like it should have a moral, but I can't find one. She claims early on to not be afraid of the oni, but when they're chasing her it says that she's frightened, so it's not like she's fearless. I guess she's brave because she perseveres despite her fear. I'm not sure what the oni laughing at her has to do with anything at all. It's not like she's intentionally being funny or does that on purpose. I guess it's okay, it's just weird.


Be brave.

Publication Year
Age Range
Number of Pages
Number of words on a typical page