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Emma Kate
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About the Author

Patricia Polacco is the prolific author and illustrator of over fifty picture books, and has received over 75 awards and honors for her work. She is also an energetic and enthusiastic public speaker--she visits over 100 classrooms every year. She lives in Union City, Michigan.

Reviews

Polacco (An Orange for Frankie) takes a familiar premise and turns it into food for thought. The brief and knowing text, narrated by an unnamed pigtailed girl, catalogs the many ways the title character makes the perfect best friend ("We sit together in the caf?-gym-a-torium at lunch. When we get home from school, we ride our bikes together"). That Emma Kate is also a large gray elephant (her hilariously humongous derri?re spills off one spread) seems to make their bond more meaningful. Emma Kate is a modest masterpiece, with tiny expressive eyes shining through masses of exuberantly cross-hatched flesh. A generous sense of humor, keen observation and a seemingly effortless, expert draftsmanship unite in the way the animal comports itself. Polacco splits the difference between fantasy and reality by demonstrating how the pretend pachyderm's girth wreaks genuine havoc. In one scene, as the girl and Emma Kate read on the sofa (sharp-eyed readers will note that the literary selection is one of Dr. Seuss's Horton books) the section underneath the elephant has flattened like a pancake. Grown-ups may detect a more elegiac undercurrent at work here. While most of the pictures are handsomely rendered in gray pencil, the narrator's old-fashioned dress, anklet socks and Mary Janes appear in radiant red and aqua; it's as if Polacco sees her narrator as a magical emissary from a more innocent yet fearlessly imaginative time. Ages 3-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

PreS-K-Emma Kate and her elephant best friend sit next to one another in school, share lunches, play at recess, finish their homework, and go to soccer practice. They even have their tonsils out at the same time, sharing a hospital bed and gallons of pink ice cream. The girl's bright red dress stands out against the white background and soft charcoal-gray pencil drawings of the large friendly elephant. Subtle hints in the illustrations of the dress, a license plate that reads "BIGMOME," and a hospital chart lead readers to the surprise ending: Momma and Daddy elephant comment on their child's active imagination as they are told all about her day with Emma Kate. The only possible drawback to this otherwise amiable story of imaginary friendship is the fact that the classmates are human, making readers think twice about the conclusion.-Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

?Polacco provides an interesting twist on the imaginary friend theme in this cheerful story inspired by her childhood. "Kirkus Reviews"

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