In this beautifully written picture book, Hana Hashimoto has signed up to play her violin at her school's talent show. The trouble is, she's only a beginner, and she's had only three lessons. Her brothers insist she isn't good enough. "It's a talent show, Hana," they tell her. "You'll be a disaster!" Hana remembers how wonderfully her talented grandfather, or Ojiichan, played his violin when she was visiting him in Japan. So, just like Ojiichan, Hana practices every day. She is determined to play her best. When Hana's confidence wavers on the night of the show, however, she begins to wonder if her brothers were right. But then Hana surprises everyone once it's her turn to perform even herself! The Asian American female protagonist in this story offers a unique perspective, and bestselling author Chieri Uegaki has woven in lyrical scenes from Japan that add depth and resonance. The details in the artwork by Qin Leng connect the two places and contain a feeling of melody throughout. In the classroom, this book could serve as a celebration of music and performing arts, multicultural studies or the importance of intergenerational relationships. It is also a fabulous character education tie-in for discussing courage and perseverance. This terrifically inspiring book offers hope and confidence to all children who are yearning to master something difficult. Perhaps even more important, it allows children to see that there is more than one way to be successful at a task.
About 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.
Qin Leng was born in Shanghai, China, and later moved to France and then Montreal, Canada. She now lives in Toronto, Canada, with her twin sister and works as a designer and illustrator. Her books have been nominated for numerous prizes, including the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Inspirational story + beautiful illustrations = book not to be missed! I highly recommend this beautifully illustrated book of ambition, resilience and courage, told in a delightful story. Grandparents can be special people in the lives of young children and Hana’s is certainly inspirational for her. He is an accomplished violinist and plays for her and her brothers whilst they stay at his home. The author uses fantastic descriptions to help the reader imagine the feelings of the characters of this story - for example, when “Hana walked onto the stage . . . an oceanic roar filled her ears.” Hana is a young girl who really wants to learn to play the violin after being inspired by her grandfather - or Ojiichan. She’s only had three lessons when she decides to enter a talent competition, despite derisory comments made by her brothers! She keeps practicing and, when the performance night arrives surprises everyone - you’ll have to read the story yourself to discover what she does! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley too for letting me read this book in exchange for this, an honest review.