Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Suki’s Kimono  
 by Chieri Uegaki 
Illustrated by Stephanie Jorisch

In search of a spunky, confident female character? Look no more….try reading Suki’s Kimono!

Book Talk 
Suki is getting ready for the first day of first grade.  She has decided to wear the kimono that her Grandmother (obachan) had given her during the summer.  Suki’s older sisters are horrified that she would choose traditional clothing for the first day of school rather than something ‘cool’ and ‘new’.  Suki doesn’t care and tells the reader why the kimono is so meaningful to her—she  wore the kimono when she went with her grandmother to a traditional Japanese festival—eating Japanese food and dancing Japanese dances.  The memory is so special to Suki, that she wants to wear the kimono again on another special day—the first day of school.

But the other students do laugh and chuckle, point and tease—just like her sisters had predicted. Except for her friend, Penny.  When the teacher asks the students to share something about the summer, Suki explains to the class about her kimono and getas (clogs). Then—to the amazement of her classmates—she demonstrates the dance that she did with her Grandmother!  As she walks back to her seat, the classroom is silent, until her kind (of course) teacher breaks the silence setting off a huge applause.

On the way home, Suki is as happy as can be—and her sisters?  Grumpy because no one notice their ‘cool’ and ‘new’ clothes.

A favorite part of the story:
""You need something new, Suki." "You need something cool."
But Suki shook her head. She didn't care for new. She didn't care for cool. She wanted to wear favorite thing. And her favorite thing was her kimono."

Suggested Uses as a Mentor Text:
Genre: Realistic Fiction  (Strong female character) 
Reading Workshop strategies:  Questioning, Connecting, Predicting, Summarizing
Writing Workshop genres:  Narrative Writing , Opinion Writing, Elaboration
Curricular themes: Diversity /We Need Diverse Books, family traditions; Character Ed/ : (confidence, believing in self)

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