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Suki's Kimono


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About the Author

Chieri Uegaki is a graduate of the creative writing department at the University of British Columbia. Suki's Kimono is her first published work. She lives in Sechelt, British Columbia.

St phane Jorisch's work has won many awards, including three Governor General's Awards for Illustration. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.


Gr 1-3-"To spunky little kids everywhere," the dedication states, and it is an apt sentiment. Young Suki indeed fits that description. On her first day of first grade, she chooses to wear her beloved Japanese kimono to school, despite the objections of her older sisters and the initial laughter of other children on the playground. Fortunately for Suki, for whom the kimono brings back fond memories of her grandmother's visit over the summer, her day ends in triumph, with her teacher and classmates won over by her impromptu dance performance. Overall, this is an appealing story of courage and independence. Delicate, playful watercolor-and-ink illustrations perfectly capture the child's neighborhood and the characters' facial expressions; scenes of a Japanese summer festival are a particular delight. The handful of Japanese words scattered throughout the text are briefly defined at the beginning of the story, resulting in a smooth telling that seamlessly integrates the unfamiliar terms.-Sue Morgan, Tom Kitayama Elementary School, Union City, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

The title character in the appealing story is a free spirit who wavers only briefly in her dedication to her own feelings.--The New York Times
A fine choice for multicultural units as well as youngsters dealing with differences. Suki's story will appeal to other independent-thinking girls as well.--Booklist
Jorisch's watercolours creations capture the spunk of the free-thinking Suki.--Montreal Review of Books
An absolutely delightful tale ...--Asian Week
A wonderful story about being yourself, with the added bonus of teaching readers a little about Japanese culture.--Kirkus Reviews
Overall, this is an appealing story of courage and independence.--School Library Journal
Uegaki's first picture book is a joyful tribute to a little girl's inner and outer sense of style. Uegaki conveys Suki's determination to honour her grandmother and remember a favourite day with language as colourful as the all-important kimono. Suki's Kimono successfully achieves that delicate balance between plot, language, illustration, and design that is so critical when creating memorable picture books.--Quill & Quire, Starred Review
The story, written for ages four through eight, rings true on many levels.--ForeWord Magazine

In Uegaki's appealing first book, a first-grader prefers to face scorn from her classmates rather than give up her beloved kimono. Stylish illustrations by Jorisch (Oma's Quilt) add pizzazz. Suki's grandmother buys her the beautiful blue kimono and takes her to the summer festival, where they dance together to Japanese music. Here Jorisch's urban backdrops give life to the pleasures and surprises of a small ethnic enclave in a good-size city. When Suki wants to wear the kimono on the first day of school, her older sisters' disapproval and warnings do not deter her. Jorisch's lightly tinted but gaily drawn watercolors show Suki as she strolls along with her arms out and her sleeves aloft, "like she'd grown her own set of wings"; she's blissfully innocent of the poking and giggling going on around her. When their teacher, Mrs. Paggio, asks the class about their summer vacations, Suki, by now aware of other children's reactions, describes the festival, then demonstrates the festival dance right in front of everyone. Jorisch captures the moment: Suki performs the steps in a series of vignettes, then waits alone, with scarlet cheeks, on the left-hand page while her classmates watch from desks on the right. Mrs. Paggio applauds, "and after a moment, so did the entire class." Given the true-to-life character, readers may feel like applauding, too. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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