Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Suki’s Kimono

Uegaki, Chieri (Author)
Jorisch, Stéphane (Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2003. 32 pages
First published: 2003
ISBN: 9781553377528 (paperback)
9781553370840 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award Nominee – 2005

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Suki is determined to wear her blue cotton kimono on the first day of Grade One, despite the advice from her older sisters to wear something cool. For Suki, the kimono represents her heritage and reminds her of her grandmother, who gave it to her and with whom she proudly attended a special Japanese festival. Through all the teasing, Suki maintains her dignity and ultimately wins over her classmates.

The breezy watercolour illustrations, lively in their quietude, capture Suki’s proud, buoyant personality as she dances the circle dance for her friends or flutters off to school, light on her feet. Textual features such as the integration of a half-dozen Japanese words into the story and the calligraphy on the cover add authenticity to the work.

Uegaki’s descriptive language perfectly captures a child’s perspective. “She remembered how it felt to dance barefoot in the open air, on fresh-cut grass that tickled her toes.”

This story could introduce the idea of multiculturalism, inspiring children to explore their family’s roots, to write about the traditions of their heritage, or to research a culture they would like to learn about. The story also demonstrates that the self-confidence to act outside the status quo can inspire acceptance and respect.

  •  

    Discuss the concept of being yourself. What behaviours define you? When is it difficult (or easy) to be yourself? What words describe Suki?

  •  Talk and write about a situation in which you had to be brave.
  •  

    Suki has a close relationship with her grandmother. Discuss a close relationship you have with someone in your family. Write about this person and the special things you do together.

  •  

    Talk about and list things you do in your family that may be different from what other families do (activities, cultural celebrations, foods, etc.). 

  •  

    Choose one aspect of your culture. Describe and explain it in writing.

  •  

    Discuss the concept of being yourself. What behaviours define you? When is it difficult  (or easy) to be yourself? What words describe Suki? 

  •  

    Bring a photo of yourself wearing your favourite outfit. Talk about it, then write a description..

  •  

    Suki has a close relationship with her grandmother. Discuss a close relationship you have with someone in your family. Write about this person and the special things you do together.

  •  

    Talk about and list things you do in your family that may be different from what other families do (activities, cultural celebrations, foods, etc.).

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being