Cherry Blossom Festival

April 20th

I just returned home from my trip to Japan with my friend Nobuko. Nobuko‚Äôs Aunt Hana and Uncle Kenji invited us to stay with them in Tokyo for spring break. From the get-go, I knew it was going to be fun. In the airport, Nobuko and I saw a very large man wearing a green robe called a kimono. On this feet he wore wooden clogs called geta. His long hair was pulled back into a ponytail and he was listening to music through tiny earphones. Nobuko told me this man was a sumo wrestler. Read more…

    About Melody West

    Melody West is a thoughtful and intelligent young girl who lives in the small and picturesque town of Maplewood with her parents and two cats, Beetle and Honey Bear.

    Sugoi! is the companion blog to The Adventurous Melody West book series by author Francesca Rappa and published by Caitboo Books.

    The word sugoi (pronounced "su-goy") comes from the Japanese language and means amazing, cool, great, awesome!

    Museum Tours

    Reading clubs and other small groups can request a tour of the beautiful North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) with the author of Melody West. Tours touch upon themes in the book series appropriate to children in 3rd to 5th grades. Learn more.


    The Melody West series is available at the North Carolina Museum of Art and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. The series can also be purchased online at

    (eBook version available)

    About the author
    Francesca Rappa is a classical pianist and composer, who studied foreign languages and literatures in college. An avid student of art history, one of her greatest pleasures is to conduct tours for schoolchildren as a senior docent at the beautiful North Carolina Museum of Art.

    Contact Melody at: