Akiko Yabuki is an Edutainment Producer, who loves creating entertaining content that educates the audience. Akiko learned the ABCs of edutainment as a Global Producer for Sesame Workshop, the producer of the Sesame Street programs worldwide. Akiko lives in Brooklyn NY with her husband, a black lab named Pono and a solid rock friend named ISHI.
"Happiness is a choice. Be happy." That's the essential message of Yabuki's first picture book, originally self-published in 2014. To illustrate life's struggles and the actions that can help them seem less daunting, she presents a series of photographs featuring a small, whitish rock named Ishi, with drawn-on dot eyes and a mouth that changes to reflect its mood. "When I feel stinky, I treat myself to something yummy!" she writes on one spread. The left-hand photo gives a birds-eye view of an open garbage can, with an unhappy Ishi nestled beside eggshells and carrot peelings; on the facing page, Ishi smiles broadly, sitting on a white plate beside a pile of orange slices. Reliance on friends, exercise, rest, and gratitude are among the tactics Yabuki suggests: "When nothing makes me feel better, I go outside. Nature has magic!" she writes as Ishi trades a cuddle with a (much larger) teddy bear for a dip in the sea, gentle foam curling around the happy rock. The aphorisms may be familiar, but Yabuki's execution of her message should bring smiles to those who need them most" -Publishers Weekly