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The Favorite Daughter Hardcover – May 28, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-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."-Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From 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—which is supposed to be the subject of a class art project—and 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. Grades 1-3. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 300L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054517662X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545176620
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on June 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"The Favorite Daughter" is such a poignant and beautiful story that will tug at readers' heartstrings. The book is dedicated to the author-illustrator's daughter Yuriko and centers on an event during Yuriko's childhood. One a visit to her father's home, Yuriko asks if her father has any pictures of her as a child and takes one to school. Unfortunately, things do not go well as Yuriko returns home upset because the children at school had teased her about her golden hair and her kimono (which they pronounce 'kimona'). As a child of mixed parentage, Yuriko feels 'different' and begins to resent her name when a teacher at school mispronounces and causes Yuriko more pain. Yuriko tells her father she wants a more American name like "Michelle".

The rest of the story sees how Yuriko sorts things out and comes to appreciate her uniqueness, with lots of help from dad of course. Beautifully illustrated, this story of a father's love for his daughter and how he helps her find her way is inspiring and uplifting, and is perfect for sharing between fathers and daughters.
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Format: Hardcover
I am surprised that there are so few reviews for any book by Allen Say, let alone this beautiful tale of a father's wisdom and love riding out his interracial daughter's confusion about her identity and her art. The text is sparing, letting the reader see between the lines as Mariko finds her way with her father's support and astute questioning as well as her own spirit and creativity. Yes, this is nominally told from a dad's point of view, but children will understand the Mariko's questioning as well as the love that is so clearly present between the two. I would recommend this to older children, probably 8 and up, and their parents, who will love it as well.
The illustrations are lovely, both of the people and the scenery of San Francisco. A very satisfying book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this text is even stronger than some of his other books as he applies meaningful, personal insights into the upbringing of his daughter. I enjoy all of his books and this one struck a true chord as being a wonderful, universal feeling of working hard to do the best thing for your daughter. I always look forward to more illustrations and text from Allen Say
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Format: Hardcover
The Favorite Daughter
by Allen Say
Arthur A. Levine Books
2013
32 pages

Beautiful watercolor art bring this sweet story to life. Yuriko is embarrassed when her art teacher calls her "Eureka," and the kids begin teasing her. To make matters worse, she took in a picture of herself wearing a kimona. The students tease her for being a blonde and for wearing the kimona. "They said Japanese dolls have black hair," she laments to her father.

Yoriko wants to change her name to something more American. She tells her dad she wishes she were named Jennifer and she swears she hates art. Her father takes her to their favorite restaurant to talk things over.

After a visit to Golden Gate Park and the Japanese Gardens, Yoriko knows what she wants to create for her art project.

The father/daughter relationship is poignant and powerful. Say uses two photographs of Yoriko--one as a child and one from a trip they took to Japan--incorporating the real life photos of Yoriko with the watercolor art is genius.

This picture book is a beautiful example of family values, generational values, the importance of one family's culture, the idea of "fitting in" in society and how each person values his/her own identity.

Highly, highly recommended grade pre-K-3. The Favorite Daughter is sure to be another award winner for Allen Say and is a must have for any collection.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

view all my reviews at "Young Adult Books--What We're Reading Now"
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