Title: Suki’s Kimono
Author: Chieri Uegaki
Illustrator: Stephane Jorisch
Publisher: Kids Can Press
I loved this gentle, beautifully illustrated picture book so much that it deserves a post all by itself!
It’s the first day of school after summer break, and Suki is eager to go back to class. Her older sisters, however, are appalled at her wardrobe choice. Suki is going to wear the pretty, floaty kimono that her grandmother gave to her when she visited them during the summer. Her sisters think that Suki simply can not go to school looking so…weird!
What an awesome book! Suki is adamant that she is going to wear her kimono to school, because she loves it and she loves that her grandmother gave it to her. Wearing it makes her feel happy and special, and it helps her remember the wonderful time she spent with her grandmother. Despite the stares and snickers from classmates, she holds her head high and proudly shows off her beloved kimono. By the end of the day, she’s even made her peers see her, and a part of her culture, differently.
I loved this book, because even when the other children at school were making fun of her, Suki refused to allow them to change how she feels about herself. She even makes them open their eyes so they can look at her in a new way. The watercolors that accompany the story are like Suki: pretty and bold and demanding of a second glance.
Review copy obtained from the library