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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 ending will have readers realizing there’s more to this imaginary

Overview

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 ending will have readers realizing there’s more to this imaginary friend than meets the eye!

Another of Polacco’s immensely popular younger books, Emma Kate is a wonderfully original story of pretend play and real friendship.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399244520
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
09/08/2005
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
595,164
Product dimensions:
8.92(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
520L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

"I was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1944. Soon after my birth I lived in Williamston, Michigan and then moved onto my grandparents farm in Union City, Michigan.

"I lived on the farm with my mom and Grandparents until 1949. That is when my Babushka (my grandmother) died and we prepared to move away from Michigan. I must say that living on that little farm with them was the most magical time of my life...and that my Babushka and other grandparents were some of the most inspirational people in my life.

"My parents were divorced when I was 3, and both my father and mother moved back into the homes of their parents. I spent the school year with my mother, and the summers with my dad. In both households I was the apple of my grandparents' eyes! I would say that these relationships with my grandparents have most definitely influenced my life and my work. You probably have noticed that in almost every book that I write there is a very young person who is interacting with an elderly person. Personally, I feel that this is the most valuable experience of my life....having the wonder of knowing both children and elderly people.

"The respect that I learned as a very young person certainly carried over into my life in later years. I have always like hearing stories from these folks. My genuine curiosity for the wonder of living a very long life prepared me to accept the declining years of my own parents.

"To get back to the farm in Union City...this place was so magical to me that I have never forgotten it! This was the place where I heard such wonderful stories told...this was the place that a real meteor fell into our font yard...that very meteorite is now our family headstone in the graveyard here in Union City.

"Did I tell you that I now live in Union City? This is after living in Oakland, California for almost 37 years. But, you see, every year I'd come back to Michigan to see my Dad and family.

"Anyway...

"In 1949 we left the farm to move, first to Coral Gables, Florida. I lived there with my Mom and my brother, Richard, for almost 3 years. Then we moved to Oakland, California. I remained there for most of my young life on into my adulthood. We lived on Ocean View Drive in the Rockridge District. What I loved the most about this neighborhood is that all of my neighbors came in as many colors, ideas and religions as there are people on the planet. How lucky I was to know so many people that were so different and yet so much alike.

"It is on Ocean View that I met my best friend, Stewart Grinnell Washington. We are best friends to this day! He has a younger brother, Winston and three sisters; Jackie, Terry and Robin. When I was a student in elementary school I wasn't a very good student. I had a terrible time with reading and math. As a matter of fact, I did not learn how to read until I was almost 14 years old. Can you imagine what it was like to see all my friends do so well in school and I wasn't! I thought I was dumb. I didn't like school because there was this boy that always teased me and made me feel even dumber. When I was fourteen, it was learned that I have a learning disability. It is called dyslexia. I felt trapped in a body that wouldn't do what everybody else could do. That was when one of my hero's, my teacher, found what was wrong with me and got me the help I needed to succeed in school. Of course, now that I am an adult, I realize that being learning disabled does not mean DUMB AT ALL! As a matter of fact, I have learned that being learning disabled only means that I cannot learn the way most of you do. As a matter of fact, most learning disabled children are actually GENIUSES! Once I learned how to read and caught up with the rest of my fellow students, I did very well.

"I went on to University, majored in Fine Art, then went on to do a graduate degree and even ended up with a Ph.D. in Art History. For a time I restored ancient pieces of art for museums. I eventually became the mother of two children, Steven and Traci, and devoted much of my days to their education and upbringing.

"I did not start writing children's books until I was 41 years old. Mind you the "art" has always been there for me most of my life. Apparently one of the symptoms of my disability in academics is the ability of draw very, very well. So drawing, painting and sculpture has always been a part of my life even before I started illustrating my books. The books were quite a surprise, really. Mind you, I came from a family of incredible storytellers. My mother's people were from the Ukraine and Russia...my father's people were from Ireland. My extended family,(Stewart's family) were from the bayous of Louisiana...also great story tellers. When you are raised on HEARING stories.....NOT SEEING THEM, you become very good at telling stories yourself. So at the age of 41 I started putting stories that I told down on paper and did drawings to help illustrate them...I guess the rest is history.

"I have enjoyed a wonderful career of writing books for children . Who could have guessed that little girl that was having such a tough time in school would end up an illustrator and author. Children and adults alike ask me where I get my ideas...I get them from the same place that you do....MY IMAGINATION... I would guess the reason my imagination is so fertile is because I came from storytelling and, WE DID NOT OWN A T.V.!!!!!!!!! You see, when one is a writer, actor, dancer, musician; a creator of any kind, he or she does these things because they listen to that "voice" inside of them. All of us have that "voice". It is where all inspired thoughts come from....but when you have electronic screens in front, of you, speaking that voice for you... it DROWNS OUT THE VOICE! When I talk to children and aspiring writers, I always ask them to listen to the voice, turn off the T.V. and

"LISTEN...LISTEN...LISTEN.

"Now that I have moved back to Union City I am intending to open my house and community and invite people to come there to take part in writing seminars, story telling festivals, literature conferences and various events that celebrate children's literature."

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"

Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.

The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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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