Kids at the Grandview Heights Public Library had a sweet opportunity to learn about Japan and try a new kind of cuisine.

Kids at the Grandview Heights Public Library had a sweet opportunity to learn about Japan and try a new kind of cuisine.

Teen librarian Jen Lawson walked the youngsters through the art of preparing sushi but added a kid-friendly twist. She used candy and rice-cereal treats instead of raw fish, rice and vegetables, the traditional ingredients of the dish that is a staple food in Japan and has become increasingly popular in the United States.

Once the kids had their ingredients, Lawson instructed them to "mush up" the rice cereal treats.

"Smash into a thin layer. You can just eat the extra if you want," she told the appreciative kids.

Allison Zawisa eyed her work enthusiastically.

"It looks like it will be excellent," the 17-year-old said.

After tasting the chewy work of art, Calista Camper offered a word of praise for the delicacy.

"Yum," the 9-year-old said.

Lawson, who used to work in a Japanese restaurant, developed the program as part of the library's summer-reading program, which has an international focus this year.

"They think it's really interesting," she said, to learn about other countries through food.

Candy Sushi

Ingredients:

rice-cereal treats (Lawson used store-bought treats but suggested that parents may want to make their own and add a few extra marshmallows to the mixture to create softer treats, which would be easier to manipulate) gummy worms licorice (string or stick) fruit roll-ups

Directions:

Grown-up: Carefully unroll the fruit roll-up without peeling it from the plastic lining.

Kid: Flatten the rice-cereal treats until they are about an inch thick. Place the flattened treats onto the fruit roll-up. Lay two pieces of candy (either licorice, gummy worms or one of each) long ways at the edge of the rice cereal treat.

Grown-up: Slowly peel the fruit roll-up from the plastic and begin to tightly roll the layers.

Kid: After a grown-up has started the process, finish rolling the candy up in the fruit roll-up.

Grown-up: Using a sharp knife (necessary to get through the licorice and gummy worms), cut the candy roll into two- to three-inch sections.

Kid: Arrange the candy rolls, which resemble California rolls, on their side on a plate and eat!