The Favorite Daughter
The Favorite Daughter
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Annotation: Yuriko, teased at school for her unusual name and Japanese ancestry, yearns to be more ordinary until her father reminds her of how special she is.
Catalog Number: #97303
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-545-17662-X
ISBN 13: 978-0-545-17662-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2012026830
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Yuriko, who is staying with her father for the weekend, comes home upset after the kids in art class make fun of her name. She decides she wants to be called Michelle from now on, which her father humors with judicious stoicism. Over the next couple of days he takes her to her favorite restaurant for sushi, through the Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park, and to an ink-painting demonstration, but things turn sour again when they visit the Golden Gate Bridge ich is supposed to be the subject of a class art project d find it shrouded in fog. One stroke of ingenuity on Yuriko's part later, however, and things are set right again. Say's artwork, rendered in pen and ink and watercolors, is as classy as ever. Although the little girl stars in every illustration, this clearly autobiographical book is very much from the father's point of view. Still, the genuine warmth and nontrivializing look at childhood troubles should endear this to a young audience. And the emphasis on celebrating one's culture while finding common ground with others is universally handy.
Horn Book
Yuriko's classmates make fun of her (biracial, she's blond with Asian features). When her art teacher assigns yet another project on the Golden Gate Bridge, Yuriko wants to do something special. Her father uses her desire to be unique to show that her differences set her apart in a good way. Filled with light, the realistic illustrations reflect the upbeat mood.
Kirkus Reviews
When an episode of teasing makes Yuriko doubt herself--her name, her heritage, her interests--her father gently guides her back to her roots and herself. For a school assignment, Yuriko brings in a photograph of herself in a cherished kimono. When she comes home, her excitement has changed to despondence. Her classmates laughed and told her that Japanese dolls have black hair, while Yuriko is blonde. Then the new art teacher mispronounces her name and assigns a subject Yuriko has depicted in art before. In response, Yuriko impetuously declares she should now be called Michelle, and Michelle does not like art. Her father listens carefully and cleverly takes Yuriko to revisit the things she loves: her favorite restaurant for sushi and the Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park. Illustrated with spare, clean watercolors, there is subtlety in this tale that's told almost completely through the dialogue between father and daughter. Some will identify with the cultural details that ground the tale; all will relate to how teasing makes Yuriko feel uncertain about the very things that make her unique. Yuriko does some critical and creative thinking about her identity and her art, proving herself her father's original--and favorite--daughter. This is as much a story about cultural pride as it about self-esteem and problem-solving, from which all can draw a lesson. (Picture book. 5-8)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2&12; Whereas Drawing from Memory (Scholastic, 2011) revealed a slice of Say's youth, this title is seen through the lens of fatherhood, although the narrator is omniscient. As the story opens, "Yuriko came to stay with her father on Thursday that week." Readers follow the flaxen-haired child through homework assignments that involve bringing a baby picture to school and, later, creating a model of the Golden Gate Bridge. A photograph of Yuriko clad in a red, flowered kimono becomes a source of confusion for her classmates, who associate Japanese appearance with dark hair. When the art teacher mispronounces her name, and the students follow suit, her day goes from bad to worse; miserable, she seeks a new identity upon arriving home. Father and daughter visit a familiar sushi restaurant, Golden Gate Park, and the bridge (shrouded in fog), all of which help the troubled girl process her feelings and inspire a unique response to the art project. Their banter pits paternal teasing mixed with loving support against childlike swings between melodrama and earnestness. Say's command of watercolor, ink, and pencil develops the visual narrative through a combination of uncluttered interiors; peaceful, restorative gardens; and emotionally complex portraits. The concluding photograph of Yuriko as a young woman in Japan (also wearing a kimono) conveys an acceptance and pride regarding her heritage and adds impact to the message. A sensitive addition to the canon of picture books about children coming to terms with being "different."&12; Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (6/1/13)
Horn Book (8/1/13)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (5/1/13)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 1,391
Reading Level: 2.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 159016 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.8 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q60949
Lexile: 510L
Guided Reading Level: R

Yuriko hates her name when the children make fun of it and call her "Eureka!" Though she is half Japanese, the teasing makes her want to hide, to retreat even from the art projects she used to love. Fortunately she has a patient, kind father who finds gentle ways of drawing her out and reminding Yuriko of the traditions they share that have always brought her joy: walks in lovely Golden Gate Park, lunch at their favorite sushi restaurant, watching the fog blow in off the bay. It's enough... it's more than enough to face down her challenges with confidence.

From the incomparable Allen Say comes another moving story taken from his personal experience and translated to the universal. This tale, dedicated with love to Say's daughter, is one for all parents who want their children to feel pride in their heritage, and to know their own greatest sources of strength and inspiration.

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER will be a favorite for years to come.

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