Yoko is eager to learn how to read, and Mama wants to help her. But they only have three picture books at home, all in Japanese. Yoko is worried that she'll be left behind when she sees the other kids in school earning leaf after leaf on the classroom book tree. Yoko and her Mama begin taking books out of the library. Mama can't read the English words, but by looking at the pictures, sounding out letters, and recognizing words from the wall at school, Yoko gradually teaches herself. In a poignant ending, Mama asks Yoko to show her how to read.