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Emma Kate Paperback – October 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (October 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142411965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142411964
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.3 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K–Emma Kate and her elephant best friend sit next to one another in school, share lunches, play at recess, finish their homework, and go to soccer practice. They even have their tonsils out at the same time, sharing a hospital bed and gallons of pink ice cream. The girl's bright red dress stands out against the white background and soft charcoal-gray pencil drawings of the large friendly elephant. Subtle hints in the illustrations of the dress, a license plate that reads BIGMOME, and a hospital chart lead readers to the surprise ending: Momma and Daddy elephant comment on their child's active imagination as they are told all about her day with Emma Kate. The only possible drawback to this otherwise amiable story of imaginary friendship is the fact that the classmates are human, making readers think twice about the conclusion.–Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Polacco's artwork is as strong as ever in a warm story that celebrates imaginary friends. The young, pigtailed narrator introduces Emma Kate, a handsome gray elephant. "We do just about everything together!" says the girl, and, indeed, the following spreads show the friends walking to school, swinging at recess, and reading and dreaming together. When the girl tells her parents about the fun she has with Emma Kate, they respond, "You have such an imagination," indicating that the elephant is imaginary. But in Polacco's expertly rendered, energetic graphite drawings, Emma Kate is such a solid presence that children, particularly those with imaginary friends, will feel that even if Emma Kate is imagined, the friendship is real. Familiar scenes at school and home extend the story's comforting tone, and the few bright spots of paint, which stand out strongly against the black-and-white drawings (the girl's red dress is a constant focal point), reinforce the delicious sense of two worlds overlapping. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
I love good endings.
Amazon Customer
My five year old daughter loves elephants, so when we saw this book, we thought we'd give it a try.
Picture Mommy
It is a sweet, fun book.
S. Woodroof

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Children will easily relate to this story of friendship and how much it means to have a really good pal - a best friend, if you will. Polacco's pencil drawings and bright watercolors create an excellent contrast in her attractive illustrations.

Four to eight year old youngsters will probably nod wisely as they hear about all the things Emma Kate and her best friend do together - walking to school together, eating lunch together, and riding their bikes after school. They even develop tonsillitis together!

The surprise in this togetherness comes at the story's conclusion when Polacco introduces a new twist on friendship.

One more engaging story from the superb Polacco who says that she modeled the elephant in this story on the character in a favorite book she read as a little girl - "Horton Hatches the Egg" by Dr. Seuss.

- Gail Cooke
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Here we get wonderful story telling from a true master of the genre. The art work is fantastic and the reader's imganination is stimulated on each and ever page Children will love this work (and I am including sixty four plus year old children also) and this is a work you will certainly want to read for your child, and if building a library for your your child, this is one you will want to add. Highly recommend this one. Don Blankenship
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Picture Mommy on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My five year old daughter loves elephants, so when we saw this book, we thought we'd give it a try. We both fell in love with the friendship described in this book; the yearning of wanting one's fantasies to come true. The surprise ending gave us both goosebumps. Although we have tons of books, we love to snuggle up at night to read this book, "...and dream of Emma Kate."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Woodroof on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a reading specialist and I shared this book with several classes. They loved it! It is a sweet, fun book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Phillips on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I saw this book title I just had to have it for my Granddaughter. Her name is Emma Kate and she is now 6 months old so I guess grandma will enjoy reading it to her until she is old enough to enjoy it herself. And...I loved the ending !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Williams on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
4.5 stars

So, I pretty much loved this book! I think I loved it even more because of the semi-based-on-a-true-story-ness of it.

An elephant is the best friend of the darling little girl in this story, and we get to see all the various things Emma Kate does with her best friend.

I love the illustrations - how the elephant is amidst a world of color (because she's gray, or perhaps another reason).

I also love that the book doesn't really say if Emma Kate's friend is real or not. It leaves it up for the reader (or listener) to interpret, which I think is great and will open the book up for much younger listeners.

Definitely Recommended!
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By Martha Fertitta on June 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was purchased as a gift for my granddaughter, along with a plush elephant. She likes the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved Emma Kate mostly because I love elephants and Polacco is such an engaging artist along with being a delightful story teller. Both the little girl and her gigantic friend were totally real. You can be sure I will buy more of her books.
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