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Suki's Kimono

Last updated Friday, July 20, 2007

Author: Chieri Uegaki
Illustrator: Stephane Jorisch
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 1553370848
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2006

Synopsis: On her first day of first grade, Suki chooses to wear her beloved Japanese kimono to school, despite the objections of her older sisters and the initial laughter of other children on the playground. Fortunately for Suki, for whom the kimono brings back fond memories of her grandmother's visit over the summer, her day ends in triumph, with her teacher and classmates won over by her impromptu dance performance.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Look at the words at the beginning of the book, and write them on the board -- clap when one of the words is spoken
•  Look at the cover of the book - what do you think the book is about?
•  What is your favorite outfit to wear? Why?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do Suki?s sisters make fun of her? Would you have made fun of her? Why or why not?
•  Why does Suki like her kimono so much?
•  Do you have an item that you like just as much as Suki likes her kimono?
•  What do you do/wear that is different from your friends? Why do you wear it?
•  What about the festival that Suki goes to would you like to do?
•  Why is the class quiet after Suki shows them the dance?
•  What did the class learn that day? What did Suki learn?
•  Why were Suki?s sisters unhappy on the way home from school?

Craft ideas:
•  Create a collage kimono (perhaps on a pattern that volunteers create?) with different color paper (bring ahead option - magazines from which to cut out patterns).
•  Make a bookmark, and on it draw all of your favorite items. What is the memory that they give you?

Special activities:
•  Do a dance like Suki?s, or make up one of your own.
•  Share the pictures in the bookmark, and the memories they represent, with the other children.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!