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Isabela's Ribbons

Isabela's Ribbons

by Satomi Ichikawa

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gaily patterned watercolors packed with playful details make this book a joy to behold-the story, unfortunately, is downright confusing. Isabela is known throughout her lush island town for her collection of hair ribbons; her other passion is for hide-and-seek. The ubiquitous green foliage provides Isabela with a perfect cover, and the vivid fruits and flowers camouflage her ribbons (this premise occasions some of Ichikawa's prettiest work). But Isabela lacks friends her own age. One day, after challenging a parrot to find her in a drab mango tree, she cunningly ties distracting ribbons among the leaves. As she waits, Isabela loses herself in a daydream-the tree becomes ``deep sea, and the ribbons were fish of every color!'' The fantasy suddenly evaporates as a flock of children materializes below the tree, and Isabela uses her ribbons to entice them to find her. The transitions here are blurred-what does the undersea interlude have to do with the appearance of the children? The underdeveloped prose grounds readers from plunging into Isabela's reverie. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jessica Deutsch
Isabela is irresistible and her story is a triumph of imagination over the difficult journey that friendship entails. Any child who has experienced the loneliness of just one day with nobody to play with will appreciate Isabela's challenge and her most creative and colorful response. This is an significant book that offers a promising message tied up with pretty ribbons, sunshine, and a happy ending.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-The strength of this book is its charming illustrations. Set on a lush Caribbean island, the fanciful tale is about a little girl who loves ribbons and the game of hide-and-seek. One day, when no one can play with her, Isabela takes a basket full of her hair ribbons up into to a tree and ties them to the branches, imagining they are fish and she is swimming with them in the ocean. Then she throws the ribbons down to the children who have gathered below and plays with them. The slight story mainly exists as a vehicle for the skillful watercolors of colorful, patterned ribbons and fish, flowering trees, and brightly clad children. An additional purchase.-Kathleen Odean, Moses Brown School, Providence, RI
Hazel Rochman
Ichikawa's watercolor paintings are fresh and beautiful, creating a view of Puerto Rico as an island paradise. The story's a little cute and exclamatory with a contrived fantasy--Isabela has no one to play with one day so she climbs into a mango tree with all the ribbons she loves, and the ribbons turn into fishes that lead her to children who chase her ribbons and become her friends. There are better stories about imaginative play; but the dancing pictures of the child and her place and the people in her life will draw kids into her game of hide-and-seek.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.28(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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