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Rosemary Wells poignantly captures Yoko's regret over a poor ...
Rosemary Wells poignantly captures Yoko's regret over a poor decision and subtly shows the healing power of love in this charming picture book for emerging readers.
Yoko gets a package all the way from Japan-her grandparents have sent her a little doll (like Yoko, a cat) named Miki to enjoy while she awaits their upcoming visit. Miki once belonged to Yoko's mother and, before that, to Yoko's grandmother and great-grandmother. Mama forbids Yoko to bring the precious doll for show-and-tell, but the idea proves irresistible, and soon Miki finds herself being tossed around on the school bus by-who else?-the Franks, those trouble-making brothers. Of course Mama still loves Yoko, and luckily she knows of a doll hospital where they can take the scuffed and damaged Miki. When Yoko's grandparents finally arrive, they ask, "Who is that outside, scrubbing the steps, raking all the peach blossoms, and pulling up the weeds?" The last spread shows the Franks busy at work, Yoko and a good-as-new Miki at the window, tiny smiles on their faces. As in the previous books about Yoko, Wells's incorporation of traditional Japanese patterns in her mixed-media art adds color and interest, and her illustrations of Yoko speak volumes about the little kitten's emotional states. Yoko's fans will especially enjoy this story with its reassurance of love and its satisfying meting out of justice.—Horn Book
Wells's adorable Japanese-American kitten introduced in Yoko (1998) and Yoko Writes Her Name (2008, both Hyperion) continues to share her Japanese heritage with her classmates in this culturally realistic and touching picture book. Yoko receives an antique doll dressed in a kimono from her Japanese grandparents with instructions to care for it until Girl's Day, a holiday that celebrates dolls and daughters. In her eagerness to share this special holiday with her classmates, Yoko, against her mother's explicit instructions, takes the doll to school for show-and-tell where it gets tossed back and forth in a game of keep-away on the bus. Yoko is heartsick over its destruction and realizes that she was wrong to take it to school. Her mother's calm reassurance that she loves Yoko even though she made a mistake is a heartwarming message. Wells's charming cut-paper collage illustrations are full of Asian decorations and patterns, including a Shoji screen, low tables, and beautiful kimonos. The Japanese terms for grandmother and grandfather are deftly introduced into the simple, conversational text. Children will identify with Yoko's excitement and heartbreak over having something special ruined.—SLJ
Yoko may be a Japanese kitty, but once again she is Everychild in a story that will remind readers of their own impulses and emotions. In anticipation of her grandparents' visit, Yoko receives an antique doll named Miki. Girls' Day, complete with a doll festival, is a Japanese holiday, and Yoko thinks she should bring Miki to Show-and-Tell to help explain it. Her mother says no "in her Big No voice." Kids will anticipate the rest: Yoko takes Miki to school anyway, and the doll is tossed around until she breaks. In a heartrending scene, Yoko must confess to her mother. Then it's on to the doll hospital, where Miki is fixed so well, even Grandmother can't tell the difference. The thoughtful depictions are simply rendered but pack a wallop: the horror and helplessness on Yoko's face as Miki is thrown about, the relief that an impulsive act hasn't led to permanent damage. Relatable story, endearing characters, and oh, those kimonos!—Booklist
A kimono-clad doll named Miki is sent to Yoko by her grandmother in honor of the Japanese holiday, Girls' Day. Yoko brings her new doll candy daily in anticipation of the holiday, and the excited kitten longs to share this special tradition with her classmates. Disaster strikes when Yoko brings the dainty doll to school against her mother's wishes and a schoolbus scuffle damages it. Fortunately, a timely visit to "Dr. Kiroshura's doll hospital" soon restores the beloved heirloom to its former beauty. A surprise, humorous conclusion provides a sly caveat to potential bullies. Wells's beautifully detailed illustrations are resplendent with textures and patterns. Shimmering hues of gold and a palette of luminous colors complement the enchanting drawings. Their elegance in no way compromises their warmth; a grief-stricken Yoko with her face buried in her mother's skirt says it all. The end pages contain descriptions of both Girls' Day and Boys' Day traditions.—Kirkus