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The joyful story of a young girl who dances to her own drumbeat, and in doing so teaches others about the richness of diversity.
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Overview

The joyful story of a young girl who dances to her own drumbeat, and in doing so teaches others about the richness of diversity.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
The bright watercolor illustrations by Stephane Jorisch have a breezy, buoyant air, and the images of the ebullient Suki dancing are particularly striking. So, ultimately (as Poppy Wise might reflect), life is like school, too. One can only hope that the nice people outnumber the not-so-nice people, the good days outnumber the bad and the pop quizzes are not too hard. — Marigny Dupuy
Publishers Weekly
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.
Children's Literature
What to wear on the first day of school is an important question. Despite the jibes of her sisters, Suki wants to wear her favorite thing, the kimono her grandmother gave her on a happy day when they attended a festival. In school, the other children question her choice at first, but as Suki describes the festival where she wore the kimono and demonstrates the dance the girls did there, there is silence followed by applause. No one notices what her friends wear, but Suki's kimono is a hit for sure. Lightly-crafted watercolors set mostly on the white page depict a charming Suki in her kimono both amid the paper kites at the street festival and amid her classmates. The lively illustrations follow her through her active day at school. Jorisch's animated sequence of the dance almost seems to move on its own. This hopeful look at both independent thinking and cultural awareness could open fruitful discussions. There is a brief glossary of the included Japanese words. 2003, Kids Can Press, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
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.
Kirkus Reviews
On the first day of school, Suki is determined to wear her favorite clothes, even though her two older sisters don't approve. She doesn't care about new or cool outfits, just about wearing the kimono, geta, and pink scarf her obachan gave her. Many kids at school do tease Suki, but she continues to hold her head up. When it's her turn to tell about her summer, she describes the festival she attended with her grandmother and begins to dance as her obachan taught her. Now instead of teasing, Suki has the respect of her classmates. And in a twist of irony, the sisters who told Suki she'd be teased for her outfit come home grumpy because no one noticed their new clothing, while Suki dances home with the wind in her pink scarf. Jorisch's watercolor illustrations are reminiscent of Japanese brush paintings. Her characters' faces are extremely expressive and perfectly portray their feelings. A wonderful story about being yourself, with the added bonus of teaching readers a little about Japanese culture. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)
Quill & Quire Starred Review
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.
New York Times
The title character in the appealing story is a free spirit who wavers only briefly in her dedication to her own feelings.
ForeWord Magazine
The story, written for ages four through eight, rings true on many levels.
From the Publisher
A wonderful story about being yourself, with the added bonus of teaching readers a little about Japanese culture.

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.

The title character in the appealing story is a free spirit who wavers only briefly in her dedication to her own feelings.

The story, written for ages four through eight, rings true on many levels.

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.

An absolutely delightful tale ...

Overall, this is an appealing story of courage and independence.

Jorisch’s watercolours creations capture the spunk of the free-thinking Suki.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554538508
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Sales rank: 918,760
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • File size: 14 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet 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.

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

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