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.
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.
And that, folks, is how you tell a completely charming yet refreshingly unsentimental tale of an intergenerational bond of love.—The Horn Book Magazine
Learning to do something new and how to apply yourself and perseverance are applications that can be drawn from this book.—Resource Links
This sweet multicultural story will resonate with anyone who has experienced stage fright.—Kirkus Reviews
The quiet story would make a fine addition to most libraries.—School Library Journal
Hana's clever triumph is testament to her inventiveness, perceptiveness, and dedication.—Publishers Weekly
Combining a love for music, artful storytelling, and beautifully evocative visuals, this will likely inspire young musicians to discover how to use their nascent skills creatively.—Booklist
Uegaki's book is winning in every possible way ... Hana displays courage, creative problem-solving and lots of spunk.—Kirkus Reviews