Emma Kate

Emma Kate

4.5 7
by Patricia Polacco

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That adorable Emma Kate has an imaginary friend. They walk to school together every morning and sit together in class. They sleep over at each other’s houses and do their homework side by side. They even have their tonsils out and eat gallons of pink ice cream together. But a hilarious twist will have readers realizing there’s more to this imaginary

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That adorable Emma Kate has an imaginary friend. They walk to school together every morning and sit together in class. They sleep over at each other’s houses and do their homework side by side. They even have their tonsils out and eat gallons of pink ice cream together. But a hilarious twist will have readers realizing there’s more to this imaginary friend than meets the eye!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.
School Library Journal
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.
Kirkus Reviews
Polacco provides an interesting twist on the imaginary friend theme in this cheerful story inspired by her own childhood. The plot describes the close friendship between a little girl in a red-flowered dress and a huge, friendly elephant who does everything little girls do. The first-person narrator describes Emma Kate as her best friend, and the reader naturally assumes all along that Emma Kate is the elephant character and that she must be a figment of the girl's imagination. But the final spread shows a pair of elephant parents tucking their elephant child into a bed covered with a quilt in the same red print. The reader realizes in this surprising denouement that the elephant child has been narrating all along, and Emma Kate, the imaginary friend, is really the little girl. Polacco uses a limited palette of gray and red to fine effect for her illustrations, and her elephant is almost as appealing as Dr. Seuss's Horton, to whom the story is dedicated. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.20(d)
520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

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Emma Kate 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
ANB76 More than 1 year ago
Emma Kate is a very easy read, it's simple and it will keep children engaged in the book throughout the entire story. It is about a little girl who has a big imagination. The little girl has a friend named Emma Kate and the two of them do everything and go everywhere together. The illustrations are pretty basic with just two or three colors to a page but they are very detailed. Patricia Polacco got the idea for this book from her childhood.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story Emma Kate is a book that is about friendship. They go everywhere together. Go to school, sit by each other in school. This book will make you have a friend. It made me want have a friend. It¿s a fun book. You will like it .Especially if you like friend ship. Every one who reads this book will like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about two friends. One is an elephant the other a young girl. You find out later in the story that one is an imaginary friend. The end really surprised me. I¿d give the book two thumbs up. I suggest you read and buy this book. Thanks to Patricia Polacco we have many wonderful books including Emma Kate. Emma Kate is a book that will entertain all who read it. The two friends have a strong bond. I really enjoyed this book and hope you do to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who didn't have a favorite buddy to play with? Whether it was real or not. Or maybe the favorite doll or stuffy you took everywhere. Easy for a grade school child to read and understand. I recomend it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Children will easily relate to this story of friendship and how much it means to have a really good pal - a best friend, if you will. Polacco's pencil drawings and bright watercolors create an excellent contrast in her attractive illustrations. Four to eight year old youngsters will probably nod wisely as they hear about all the things Emma Kate and her best friend do together - walking to school together, eating lunch together, and riding their bikes after school. They even develop tonsillitis together! The surprise in this togetherness comes at the story's conclusion when Polacco introduces a new twist on friendship. One more engaging story from the superb Polacco who says that she modeled the elephant in this story on the character in a favorite book she read as a little girl - 'Horton Hatches the Egg' by Dr. Seuss. - Gail Cooke