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Yoko Writes Her Name (A Yoko Book) Hardcover – July 29, 2008

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Yoko Writes Her Name (A Yoko Book) + Yoko Learns to Read + Yoko
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Series: A Yoko Book
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786803711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786803712
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—The endearing kitten introduced in Yoko (1998) and Yoko's Paper Cranes (2001, both Hyperion) returns in this lovely story illustrating the challenges facing young children who are bridging two cultures. Life for Yoko in the first week of school is anything but positive. In the eyes of the other children, her Japanese characters look like "baby marks," her numbers are just lines, and she "pretends" to read a book as she pages through it right to left instead of left to right. Olive and Sylvia decide that Yoko won't graduate from kindergarten, and soon the child is unhappily refusing her favorite sushi. Even with the considerate assistance of insightful Mrs. Jenkins and the support of her mother, the situation is not improved until a fellow student steps in. Angelo recognizes Yoko's characters as a secret language, and when she writes his name in Japanese, he shows her how to write the ABC's. After only a bit more classroom drama, all ends well with a kindergarten graduation and bilingual diplomas. This is a carefully crafted picture book with Asian-inspired illustrations that delight the eye just as the gentle story soothes the soul.—Piper Nyman, Brookmeade Elementary School, Nashville, TN
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When Yoko writes her name in Japanese instead of English, two classmates mock her and gleefully predict, “She won’t graduate from kindergarten.” Worried, Yoko hides under a table and is discovered by Angelo, who wants to learn how to write Japanese. In return, he shows her how to write her name “in ABCs.” Soon the entire class is learning how to write Japanese words, and graduation day has a distinctive Asian flavor, cheering even Yoko’s tormentors. In the sunny illustrations, Japanese and English labels on familiar objects invite children to write in both languages. Any child who has coped with being different, especially those from other cultures, will identify with Yoko’s painfully realistic dilemma, and others will understand Yoko’s palpable fear of failure. Once again, Yoko shares her Japanese culture in a story that can spark discussions about accepting and honoring differences. Meaningful and delightful in equal measure. Preschool-Grade 2. --Linda Perkins

More About the Author

Born in New York City, Rosemary Wells grew up in a house "filled with books, dogs, and nineteenth-century music." Her childhood years were spent between her parents' home near Red Bank, New Jersey, and her grandmother's rambling stucco house on the Jersey Shore. Most of her sentimental memories, both good and bad, stem from that place and time. Her mother was a dancer in the Russian Ballet, and her father a playwright and actor. Mrs. Wells says, "Both my parents flooded me with books and stories. My grandmother took me on special trips to the theater and museums in New York. "Rosemary Wells's career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books. She has won numerous awards, and has given readers such unforgettable characters as Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora, and Yoko. She has also given Mother Goose new life in two enormous, definitive editions, published by Candlewick. Wells wrote and illustrated Unfortunately Harriet, her first book with Dial, in 1972. One year later she wrote the popular Noisy Nora. "The children and our home life have inspired, in part, many of my books. Our West Highland white terrier, Angus, had the shape and expressions to become Benjamin and Tulip, Timothy, and all the other animals I have made up for my stories." Her daughters Victoria and Beezoo were constant inspirations, especially for the now famous "Max" board book series. "Simple incidents from childhood are universal," Wells says. "The dynamics between older and younger siblings are common to all families."But not all of Wells' ideas come from within the family circle. Many times when speaking, Mrs. Wells is asked where her ideas come from. She usually answers, "It's a writer's job to have ideas." Sometimes an idea comes from something she reads or hears about, as in the case of her recent book, Mary on Horseback, a story based on the life of Mary Breckenridge, who founded the Frontier Nursing Service. Timothy Goes to School was based on an incident in which her daughter was teased for wearing the wrong clothes to a Christmas concert. Her dogs, west highland terriers, Lucy and Snowy, work their way into her drawings in expression and body position. She admits, "I put into my books all of the things I remember. I am an accomplished eavesdropper in restaurants, trains, and gatherings of any kind. These remembrances are jumbled up and changed because fiction is always more palatable than truth. Memories become more true as they are honed and whittled into characters and stories."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dolores M. Culver on August 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a retired teacher, who now teaches Japanese children to speak English. YOKO WRITES HER NAME is a wonderful book to use with Japanese students, especially the younger ones. It has common words on the corner of each page in both English and Japanese, which helps the teacher and students learn some Japanese, while teaching English. The story line shows how Yoko is accepted into her class by all the students first by Yoko teaching them how to write their names in Japanese. Subsequently, the class ends up learning Japanese as a second language. What a wonderful way to make a foreign child feel important and special.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arie Farnam on July 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 3-year-old, who has some linguistic and ethnic difference issues to deal with herself, loves these books, appears to understand them and asks for them again and again.

I have one criticism on this book. The book shows Japanese characters but not very clearly and doesn't do much to help a child see them as a writing system just like ABCs. The graphics on that could be better.
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Format: Hardcover
Yoko was a Japanese kitty cat and was very pleased with her efforts to write her name. "I am so proud, my little snow flower!" said Yoko's mother. When she got to school there were all kinds of different little animal children who were learning to write their names. Mrs. Jenkins thought that Yoko did a beautiful job with her name, but Sylvia and Olive thought her writing was nothing but scribbles. That kind of meanness would make any little girl want to cry!

Even when Yoko demonstrated her numbers on the blackboard, the girls still made fun of her, claiming she wouldn't graduate school at all. "Those aren't numbers. Those are just baby marks!" Things just seemed to go from bad to worse until Angelo said she had a secret language and wanted to learn it. Then things started to turn around when all the children suddenly wanted to learn their names in Japanese. Yoko might graduate after all.

This is a charming story that accentuates the fact that `differences' aren't necessarily a bad thing. On the upper corner of the right-hand page there is a small illustration and an English word below it. On the opposite page, there is its Japanese equivalent. This is a perfect classroom read aloud and discuss book. Can any of you write the word `hand' in both English and Japanese?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kanna Hoki on October 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Great new Yoko book on tolerance of those who are different, or second language learners. It's a beautiful book (love the inside cover).
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