kode adsense disini
Hot Best Seller

Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

Availability: Ready to download

In early-1900s Japan, Misuzu Kaneko grows from precocious bookworm to instantly-beloved children’s poet. But her life ends prematurely, and Misuzu’s work is forgotten. Decades later her poems are rediscovered—just in time to touch a new generation devastated by the tsunami of 2011. This picture book features Misuzu’s life story plus a trove of her poetry in English and the In early-1900s Japan, Misuzu Kaneko grows from precocious bookworm to instantly-beloved children’s poet. But her life ends prematurely, and Misuzu’s work is forgotten. Decades later her poems are rediscovered—just in time to touch a new generation devastated by the tsunami of 2011. This picture book features Misuzu’s life story plus a trove of her poetry in English and the original Japanese. Big Catch: At sunrise, glorious sunrise it’s a big catch! A big catch of sardines! On the beach, it’s like a festival but in the sea, they will hold funerals for the tens of thousands dead.


Compare
kode adsense disini

In early-1900s Japan, Misuzu Kaneko grows from precocious bookworm to instantly-beloved children’s poet. But her life ends prematurely, and Misuzu’s work is forgotten. Decades later her poems are rediscovered—just in time to touch a new generation devastated by the tsunami of 2011. This picture book features Misuzu’s life story plus a trove of her poetry in English and the In early-1900s Japan, Misuzu Kaneko grows from precocious bookworm to instantly-beloved children’s poet. But her life ends prematurely, and Misuzu’s work is forgotten. Decades later her poems are rediscovered—just in time to touch a new generation devastated by the tsunami of 2011. This picture book features Misuzu’s life story plus a trove of her poetry in English and the original Japanese. Big Catch: At sunrise, glorious sunrise it’s a big catch! A big catch of sardines! On the beach, it’s like a festival but in the sea, they will hold funerals for the tens of thousands dead.

30 review for Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 5* of five Whenever a package arrives from Chin Music Press, I know that everything else has to go to the Later pile. As always, I was *so* richly rewarded when I opened these covers. This gorgeous and extremely touching sampler of Kaneko Misuzu's poetry is perfectly illustrated. It is introduced by a brief recounting of Kaneko's unhappy life. While I would most definitely want my grandkids to read the poetry, I'd want to read Kaneko's story to them, and make sure I was fully present to ga Rating: 5* of five Whenever a package arrives from Chin Music Press, I know that everything else has to go to the Later pile. As always, I was *so* richly rewarded when I opened these covers. This gorgeous and extremely touching sampler of Kaneko Misuzu's poetry is perfectly illustrated. It is introduced by a brief recounting of Kaneko's unhappy life. While I would most definitely want my grandkids to read the poetry, I'd want to read Kaneko's story to them, and make sure I was fully present to gauge their need for explanation and/or comfort as the tale unfolds. Even if you have no kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or strange kids you can borrow, buy this beautiful object for your coffee table. You will be the coolest kid on the block.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Recently I was at a conference celebrating the creators of different kinds of children’s books. During one of the panel discussions an author of a picture book biography of Fannie Lou Hamer said that part of the mission of children’s book authors is to break down “the canonical boundaries of biography”. I knew what she meant. A cursory glance at any school library or public library’s children’s room will show that most biographies go to pretty familiar names. It's easy to forget how much we need Recently I was at a conference celebrating the creators of different kinds of children’s books. During one of the panel discussions an author of a picture book biography of Fannie Lou Hamer said that part of the mission of children’s book authors is to break down “the canonical boundaries of biography”. I knew what she meant. A cursory glance at any school library or public library’s children’s room will show that most biographies go to pretty familiar names. It's easy to forget how much we need biographies of interesting, obscure people who have done great things. Fortunately, at this conference, I had an ace up my sleeve. I knew perfectly well that one such book has just been published here in the States and it’s a game changer. Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko isn’t your typical dry as dust retelling of a life. It crackles with energy, mystery, tragedy, and, ultimately, redemption. This book doesn’t just break down the boundaries of biography. It breaks down the boundaries placed on children’s poetry, art, and translation too. Smarter and more beautiful than it has any right to be, this book challenges a variety of different biography/poetry conventions. The fact that it’s fun to read as well is just gravy. Part biography, part poetry collection, and part history, Are You an Echo? introduces readers to the life and work of celebrated Japanese poet Misuzu Kaneko. One day a man by the name of Setsuo Yazaki stumbled upon a poem called “Big Catch”. The poet’s seemingly effortless ability to empathize with the plight of fish inspired him to look into her other works. The problem? The only known book of her poems out there was caught in the conflagration following the firebombing of Tokyo during World War II. Still, Setsuo was determined and after sixteen years he located the poet’s younger brother who had her diaries, containing 512 of Misuzu’s poems. From this, Setsuo was able to piece together her life. Born in 1902, Misuzu Kaneko grew up in Senzaki in western Japan. She stayed in school at her mother’s insistence and worked in her mother’s bookstore. For fun she submitted some of her poems to a monthly magazine and shockingly every magazine she submitted them to accepted them. Yet all was not well for Misuzu. She had married poorly, contracted a disease from her unfaithful husband that caused her pain, and he had forced her to stop writing as well. Worst of all, when she threatened to leave he told her that their daughter’s custody would fall to him. Unable to see a way out of her problem, she ended her life at twenty-six, leaving her child in the care of her mother. Years passed, and the tsunami of 2011 took place. Misuzu’s poem “Are You an Echo?” was aired alongside public service announcements and it touched millions of people. Suddenly, Misuzu was the most famous children’s poet of Japan, giving people hope when they needed it. She will never be forgotten again. The book is spotted with ten poems throughout Misuzu’s story, and fifteen additional poems at the end. There’s been a lot of talk in the children’s literature sphere about the role of picture book biographies. More specifically, what’s their purpose? Are they there simply to inform and delight or do they need to actually attempt to encapsulate the great moments in a person’s life, warts and all? If a picture book bio only selects a single moment out of someone’s life as a kind of example, can you still call it a biography? If you make up dialogue and imagine what might have happened in one scene or another, do those fictional elements keep it from the “Biography” section of your library or bookstore, or is there a place out there for fictionalized bios? These questions are new ones, just as the very existence of picture book biographies, in as great a quantity as we’re seeing them, is also new. One of the takeaways I’ve gotten from these conversations is that it is possible to tackle difficult subjects in a picture book bio, but it must be done naturally and for a good reason. So a story like Gary Golio’s Spirit Seeker can discuss John Coltrane’s drug abuse, as long as it serves the story and the character’s growth. On the flip side, Javaka Steptoe’s Radiant Child, a biography of Basquiat, makes the choice of discussing the artist’s mother’s fight with depression and mental illness, but eschews any mention of his own suicide. Are You An Echo? is an interesting book to mention alongside these two other biographies because the story is partly about Misuzu Kaneko’s life, partly about how she was discovered as a poet, and partly a highlight of her poetry. But what author David Jacobson has opted to do here is tell the full story of her life. As such, this is one of the rare picture book bios I’ve seen to talk about suicide, and probably the only book of its kind I’ve ever seen to make even a passing reference to STDs. Both issues informed Kaneko’s life, depression, feelings of helplessness, and they contribute to her story. The STD is presented obliquely so that parents can choose or not choose to explain it to kids if they like. The suicide is less avoidable, so it’s told in a matter-of-fact manner that I really appreciated. Euphemisms, for the most part, are avoided. The text reads, “She was weak from illness and determined not to let her husband take their child. So she decided to end her life. She was only twenty-six years old.” That’s bleak but it tells you what you need to know and is honest to its subject. But let’s just back up a second and acknowledge that this isn’t actually a picture book biography in the strictest sense of the term. Truthfully, this book is rife, RIFE, with poetry. As it turns out, it was the editorial decision to couple moments in Misuzu’s life with pertinent poems that gave the book its original feel. I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to come up with a picture book biography of a poet that has done anything similar. I know one must exist out there, but I was hard pressed to think of it. Maybe it’s done so rarely because the publishers are afraid of where the book might end up. Do you catalog this book as poetry or as biography? Heck, you could catalog it in the Japanese history section and still be right on in your assessment. It’s possible that a book that melds so many genres together could only have been published in the 21st century, when the influx of graphic inspired children’s literature has promulgated. Whatever the case, reading this book you’re struck with the strong conviction that the book is as good as it is precisely because of this melding of genres. To give up this aspect of the book would be to weaken it. Right off the bat I was impressed by the choice of poems. The first one you encounter is called “Big Catch” and it tells about a village that has caught a great number of fish. The poem ends by saying, “On the beach, it’s like a festival / but in the sea they will hold funerals / for the tens of thousands dead.” The researcher Setsuo Yazaki was impressed by the poet’s empathy for the fish, and that empathy is repeated again and again in her poems. “Big Catch” is actually one of her bleaker works. Generally speaking, the poems look at the world through childlike eyes. “Wonder” contemplates small mysteries, in “Beautiful Town” the subject realizes that a memory isn’t from life but from a picture in a borrowed book, and “Snow Pile” contemplates how the snow on the bottom, the snow on the top, and the snow in the middle of a pile must feel when they’re all pressed together. The temptation would be to call Kaneko the Japanese Emily Dickenson, owing to the nature of the discovery of her poems posthumously, but that’s unfair to both Kaneko and Dickenson. Kenko’s poems are remarkable not just because of their original empathy, but also because they are singularly childlike. A kid would get a kick out of reading these poems. That’s no mean feat. Mind you, we’re dealing with a translation here. And considering how beautifully these poems read, you might want a note from the translators talking about their process. You can imagine, then, how thrilled I was to find a half-page’s worth of a “Translators’ Note” explaining aspects of the work here that never would have occurred to me in a million years. The most interesting problem came down to culture. As Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi write, “In Japanese, girls have a particular way of speaking that is affectionate and endearing . . . However, English is limited in its capacity to convey Misuzu’s subtle feminine sensibility and the elegant nuances of her classical allusions. We therefore had to skillfully work our way through both languages, often producing several versions of a poem by discussing them on Skype and through extensive emails – Michiko from Japan, Sally from Canada – to arrive at the best possible translations in English.” It makes a reader really sit back and admire the sheer levels of dedication and hard work that go into a book of this sort. If you read this book and find that the poems strike you as singularly interesting and unique, you may now have to credit these dedicated translators as greatly as you do the original subject herself. We owe them a lot. In the back of the book there is a note from the translators and a note from David Jacobson who wrote the text of the book that didn’t include the poetry. What’s conspicuously missing here is a note from the illustrator. That’s a real pity too since biographical information about artist Toshikado Hajiri is missing. Turns out, Toshikado is originally from Kyoto and now lives in Anan, Tokushima. Just a cursory glance at his art shows a mild manga influence. You can see it in the eyes of the characters and the ways in which Toshikado chooses to draw emotions. That said, this artist is capable of also conveying great and powerful moments of beauty in nature. The sunrise behind a beloved island, the crush of chaos following the tsunami, and a peach/coral/red sunset, with a grandmother and granddaughter silhouetted against its beauty. What Toshikado does here is match Misuzu’s poetry, note for note. The joyous moments she found in the world are conveyed visually, matching, if never exceeding or distracting from, her prowess. The end result is more moving than you might expect, particularly when he includes little human moments like Misuzu reading to her daughter on her lap or bathing her one last time. Here is what I hope happens. I hope that someday soon, the name “Misuzu Kaneko” will become better known in the United States. I hope that we’ll start seeing collections of her poems here, illustrated by some of our top picture book artists. I hope that the fame that came to Kaneko after the 2011 tsunami will take place in America, without the aid of a national disaster. And I hope that every child that reads, or is read, one of her poems feels that little sense of empathy she conveyed so effortlessly in her life. I hope all of this, and I hope that people find this book. In many ways, this book is an example of what children’s poetry should strive to be. It tells the truth, but not the truth of adults attempting to impart wisdom upon their offspring. This is the truth that the children find on their own, but often do not bother to convey to the adults in their lives. Considering how much of this book concerns itself with being truthful about Misuzu’s own life and struggles, this conceit matches its subject matter to a tee. Beautiful, mesmerizing, necessary reading for one and all. For ages 5 and up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    I was happy to come across the beautiful poems of Misuzu Kaneko...thought I knew a little about Japanese culture, but I had never heard of her poetry. Although this book is for children adults will also enjoy these heartfelt poems.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Lovely book, and that's not a word I usually use for any book. A quick read, though you'll want to take your time. The poetry, and brief biography. of Misuzu Kaneko, who lived from 1903 to 1929. From a small coastal town, daughter of a bookseller, and well-educated (for the time), she went on to write about 512 poems. Many were published in her lifetime and she became well-known and beloved in Japan. However, her short life was rather tragic. The poems themselves are elegant, small pieces of life Lovely book, and that's not a word I usually use for any book. A quick read, though you'll want to take your time. The poetry, and brief biography. of Misuzu Kaneko, who lived from 1903 to 1929. From a small coastal town, daughter of a bookseller, and well-educated (for the time), she went on to write about 512 poems. Many were published in her lifetime and she became well-known and beloved in Japan. However, her short life was rather tragic. The poems themselves are elegant, small pieces of life, observation and reflection, very often with deep and poignant themes. She's rather like Emily Dickinson in that manner, though Kaneko has her own style and flavor. I read this little book - which I had to wait two weeks to get through my library system - in less than an hour, but I'll read it again, savor it one (or two more times) before returning it. Wonderful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    Oh wow! So I picked this one out for #diverseathon and I must say it was quite amazing and such a sad tale. And the artwork! Oh boy it was BEAUTIFUL! If you've never heard of Misuzu Kaneko before you definitely need to check her out. The only thing that I could possibly say about this book is that you have to discover the beauty of it on your own! : )

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ilias

    This is an extremely good and beautiful book. I wanted to make sure I mentioned that the textured endpapers are really gorgeous. I liked them a lot. I don't know that I've ever read a book with this format. It's a picture book that begins with the story of this woman's poetry and how much of it was lost and rediscovered. It gives a brief history of her life in the same style, and mixed in with the history are some poems on related topics. Which was all very good! And then the second half of the b This is an extremely good and beautiful book. I wanted to make sure I mentioned that the textured endpapers are really gorgeous. I liked them a lot. I don't know that I've ever read a book with this format. It's a picture book that begins with the story of this woman's poetry and how much of it was lost and rediscovered. It gives a brief history of her life in the same style, and mixed in with the history are some poems on related topics. Which was all very good! And then the second half of the book is a collection of her poems in English and Japanese with related illustrations. The poetry is extremely good and the drawings are extremely good and I'm very glad I opened this book!! I recommend it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This book is gorgeous. I don't just mean the poetry and the artwork; the endpapers are textured, so as soon as you open the book, you know that it's something very special. It's a pleasure to hold in your hands. As for the content of the book, it is likewise beautiful. Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko has two parts: first, a narrative covering Misuzu Kaneko's tragic life and her impact on Japanese culture, illuminated by gorgeous paintings and relevant poems. For those inten This book is gorgeous. I don't just mean the poetry and the artwork; the endpapers are textured, so as soon as you open the book, you know that it's something very special. It's a pleasure to hold in your hands. As for the content of the book, it is likewise beautiful. Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko has two parts: first, a narrative covering Misuzu Kaneko's tragic life and her impact on Japanese culture, illuminated by gorgeous paintings and relevant poems. For those intending to read this book to children, be aware that this portion of the book mentions spousal abuse, sexually transmitted disease, suicide, and the Tsunami of 2011. They are mentioned in a straightforward manner (except for the STD, which is referred to as "a disease she caught from her husband"). A message at the back of the book contains a justification for including such details in a children's book, but each parent should decide whether their child is ready for the discussions that might happen. As for the second half, the poetry and the translation are outstanding. Kaneko's voice is unique; she doesn't so much write poems for children so much as from a child's perspective. And this child is imaginative, inquisitive, and empathetic toward everything, even inanimate objects. One recurring aspect is the bond between child and mother; my favorite poem is about the child wanting her mother to join her imaginary play, and when she doesn't, the child incorporates her into the scene anyway. The biographical portion puts this theme into context: Kaneko was raised by a single mother, and she herself had a daughter. She evokes that love children have for their mothers, when the mother is a child's whole world. The poetry does not shy away from the sadness and disappointments of childhood. Again, Kaneko's voice is empathetic to all things, feeling for the wild fish on her plate who were not raised to be eaten, as well as snow that gets trapped and can see neither the sun nor the ground. Children may not pick up on all the details that parents will, but they will understand her questions and concerns.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ngxr_

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Favorite poems: "Cocoon and grave" A silkworm enters its cocoon- that tight, uncomfortable cocoon. But the silkworm must be happy; it will become a butterfly and fly away. A person enters a grave- that dark, lonely grave. But the good person will grow wings, become an angel and fly away. "Starts and Dandelions" Deep in the blue sky, like pebbles at the bottom of the sea, like the starts unseen in daylight until night comes. You can't see them, but they are there. Unseen things are still there. The withered, seedle Favorite poems: "Cocoon and grave" A silkworm enters its cocoon- that tight, uncomfortable cocoon. But the silkworm must be happy; it will become a butterfly and fly away. A person enters a grave- that dark, lonely grave. But the good person will grow wings, become an angel and fly away. "Starts and Dandelions" Deep in the blue sky, like pebbles at the bottom of the sea, like the starts unseen in daylight until night comes. You can't see them, but they are there. Unseen things are still there. The withered, seedless dandelions hidden in the cracks of the roof tile wait silently for spring, their strong roots unseen. You can't see them, but they are there. Unseen things are still there. "Waves" Waves are children laughing and holding hands, Together, they come. Waves are erasers wiping away words written on the sand. Waves are soldiers advancing from the open sea, firing their guns. Waves are forgetful leaving pretty, pretty shells behind on the sand. "Dewdrop" Let's not tell anyone. In the corner of the garden this morning, a flower shed a tear. If word of this spreads to the ears of the bee, it'll feel it's done wrong and go back to return the nectar.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    In continuation of my ongoing series of Goodreads reviews of top-quality children's picture books pertaining to whales, I devoured this gorgeously illustrated picture book telling the life story of the early 20th-century Japanese poet Misuzu Kaneko and presenting a selection of her poems, very simple gentle-hearted little lyrics on natural subjects that showcase her endearing ability to empathize with everything from orphaned whale calves and unshelled cicadas to snow and telephone poles (!). In In continuation of my ongoing series of Goodreads reviews of top-quality children's picture books pertaining to whales, I devoured this gorgeously illustrated picture book telling the life story of the early 20th-century Japanese poet Misuzu Kaneko and presenting a selection of her poems, very simple gentle-hearted little lyrics on natural subjects that showcase her endearing ability to empathize with everything from orphaned whale calves and unshelled cicadas to snow and telephone poles (!). In her gift for identifying with even inanimate objects, Kaneko reminds me a bit of Rilke, who was said to take half-used soap bars home with him from hotel rooms because he didn't want them to be lonely. The text of Are You an Echo? is a bit on the dense side (i.e., a relatively high word count per page), but the stunningly beautiful, richly colored illustrations by Toshikado Hajiri make up for it. Of note, though being apparently marketed toward children, this book deals with adult subjects in a surprisingly frank way, stating the important facts of Kaneko's life plainly: that she had a "bad, unfaithful husband" who forbade her to write poetry, that she sickened from "a disease contracted from her husband" (obviously a venereal disease, although the book doesn't elaborate), and that, when unfair laws threatened to give her husband sole custody of their daughter, she "ended her life" (this is the exact wording the book uses). I don't think there was any way around mentioning these facts while staying true to the story of Kaneko's life, but a parent or teacher should be aware in order to make an informed decision about what age group(s) to share this title with. Brain Pickings, which seldom fails to report on the best-quality children's books out there, featured Are You an Echo? recently, and you can check out their post to see a sampling of pictures and poems from inside: https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/03...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    "To Misuzu, everything was alive and had its own feelings -- plants, rocks, even telephone poles!" This is a lovely combination biography/poetry book introducing the work and life of children's poet Misuzu Kaneko, well-known in Japan but only recently translated into English. The author decided to present her life story in a straightforward way, including her unfaithful husband, illness, and suicide.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A beautifully written and illustrated introduction to the life and work of the Japanese poet, and a collection of some of her poems in English and Japanese. A lovely book that will speak to readers of all ages who are interested in Japanese literature and culture, in poetry and translation.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    Sad biography, sweet poems. I loved hearing how the poem Are You an Echo was so inspirational to people in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and that it was a call to survivors to help others in the aftermath of tragedy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Never mind if you're not interested in children's books, spend some time with Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko. It consists of a light rendering of Misuzu's short and tragic life, suitable for kids, interspersed with poems. The poems are written from viewpoints like those of snow and fish. They show great curiosity about, and empathy for, nature and people. They are children's poems, but there is often more to think about. STARS AND DANDELIONS Deep in the blue sky like pebbles at Never mind if you're not interested in children's books, spend some time with Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko. It consists of a light rendering of Misuzu's short and tragic life, suitable for kids, interspersed with poems. The poems are written from viewpoints like those of snow and fish. They show great curiosity about, and empathy for, nature and people. They are children's poems, but there is often more to think about. STARS AND DANDELIONS Deep in the blue sky like pebbles at the bottom of the sea lie the stars unseen in daylight until night comes. You can't see them, but they are there. Unseen things are still there. The withered, seedless dandelions hidden in the cracks of the roof tile wait silently for spring their strong roots unseen. You can't see them, but they are there. Unseen things are still there. There are 15 poems, including the one above, presented bi-lingually in the back of the book, with furigana next to the Kanji for easy reading. The translations are very good and the added pleasure of being able to read the original Japanese is wonderful. The voice of the poet as child comes through in her simple sweet way, the phrases so endearing and poignant in Japanese. The book, which is in landscape format, has nice illustrations by Toshikado Hajiri, a foreword by Setsuo Yazaki (the man who tracked down Misuzu Kaneko's poems after they had been lost for many years), a note from author David Jacobson, and translators' notes from Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi. To get all the details of Misuzu Kaneko's life, google her. Everything doesn't belong in a children's book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erik Olson

    I found this piece by searching the 2017 NOTABLE POETRY BOOKS Selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee. Are You and Echo? Is the collections of a forgotten poet from Japan. The Sample poem as follows offers perspective: Big Catch: At sunrise, glorious sunrise it’s a big catch! A big catch of sardines! On the beach, it’s like a festival but in the sea, they will hold funerals for the tens of thousands dead. Here we see the perspective of both the people and the sardines I found this piece by searching the 2017 NOTABLE POETRY BOOKS Selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee. Are You and Echo? Is the collections of a forgotten poet from Japan. The Sample poem as follows offers perspective: Big Catch: At sunrise, glorious sunrise it’s a big catch! A big catch of sardines! On the beach, it’s like a festival but in the sea, they will hold funerals for the tens of thousands dead. Here we see the perspective of both the people and the sardines. And that what is remarable about these poems. They offer a way for stuents to connect to points of view they may not have considered. Great for Junior high or high school, it would be great for students to examine and respond to the different perspectives offered and to create their own poems.

  15. 4 out of 5

    June

    Explores the poetry of a Japanese poet, whose work was almost all lost when Tokyo was firebombed in WWII. A man wanted to discover more about this poet who spoke to him and spent 16 years trying to find out more until finally tracking down her younger brother who was 77 years old. The reader is told the sad story of Musuzu's life and introduced to a number of her poems. I included my favorite below. Heart My mother is big- she's a grown-up, but her heart is little. I'll tell you why - because she says Explores the poetry of a Japanese poet, whose work was almost all lost when Tokyo was firebombed in WWII. A man wanted to discover more about this poet who spoke to him and spent 16 years trying to find out more until finally tracking down her younger brother who was 77 years old. The reader is told the sad story of Musuzu's life and introduced to a number of her poems. I included my favorite below. Heart My mother is big- she's a grown-up, but her heart is little. I'll tell you why - because she says her heart is filled with little me! I'm little since I 'm a child, but I have a big heart. I'll tell you why - because even with my heart filled with my big mother, there's room for so much more.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This is a beautiful book in word, illustration, and purpose. I selected it to help my young children learn about some of Japan's influential recent poetry and the beautiful resilience of it's people during our Japan unit study. It needed to be read in bursts to the youngest, but it communicated such deep ideas with grace. I highly recommend this book to all ages. For children it helps communicate ideas difficult to put into words, and for adults it is a toe dip into the deep river of meaningful This is a beautiful book in word, illustration, and purpose. I selected it to help my young children learn about some of Japan's influential recent poetry and the beautiful resilience of it's people during our Japan unit study. It needed to be read in bursts to the youngest, but it communicated such deep ideas with grace. I highly recommend this book to all ages. For children it helps communicate ideas difficult to put into words, and for adults it is a toe dip into the deep river of meaningful culture that flows through Japan.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katharine

    A beautiful "'mash-up' of biography and poems." Simple and lovely illustrations wonderfully compliment the poems of Misuzu. I was not familiar with her work or her life before reading this book, but I am curious to know more. As a learner of Japanese language, it was fun to read the original poems included and compare the translations presented with my own interpretation. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Very interesting story of this Japanese poet whose life was cut short by a cruel husband. Her poetry is short and concise, but does pack a punch, despite much of it seeming innocent or sweet. The illustrations are beautiful!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    I was moved by her tragic story and her lovely poems.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amber Hetchler

    Such beautiful poetry. I want more!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mariam

    Much-needed kindness and empathy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sunny Welker

    Beautiful poetry book. I love the Japanese belief of spirit in everything. Compelling art.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nouf

    I cried when i reached the last page! I did not want it to end!!!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gayatri

    beautiful poetry that paints everything mundane in a new philosophical illumination.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Misuzu Kaneko was a sensitive, curious child who felt very deeply, even imagining how fish or snowflakes or orphaned whale calves felt. "Are You an Echo?" begins with a short narrative explaining how most of Misuzu’s poems (which are not haiku) came to be discovered, then segues into the simply told story of her short life, with poems interspersed, followed by a section devoted to just her poems. The poems are meant for children, but they are thoughtful delights for all ages. I appreciated the Misuzu Kaneko was a sensitive, curious child who felt very deeply, even imagining how fish or snowflakes or orphaned whale calves felt. "Are You an Echo?" begins with a short narrative explaining how most of Misuzu’s poems (which are not haiku) came to be discovered, then segues into the simply told story of her short life, with poems interspersed, followed by a section devoted to just her poems. The poems are meant for children, but they are thoughtful delights for all ages. I appreciated the narrative, learning about Misuzu’s life and seeing the deeper meanings in the poems. Misuzu’s last years were difficult and tragic, and while her troubles are told gently and without detail, they are serious enough (including “she decides to end her own life”) that the likely audience for the book would be children in grades 4-6, although parents could read aloud and further soften the wording for younger or more sensitive kids. There is one mention of a God and another of becoming an angel, if that would be an issue. Otherwise, this is a lovely true story for children about a soft-hearted girl whose thoughts became precious poems. The end notes provide interesting insight into the difficulties of translating Japanese, adding to all the reasons to put this in school libraries.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This is a wonderful introduction to one of Japan's most beloved poets with appeal for both children and adults. The first part of the book introduces Misuzu Kaneko's short, tragic, but nonetheless productive life in winsome prose interspersed with verse in translation. A snippet: "Misuzu was a thoughtful child, and she had many questions: What does it feel like to be snow? What good is dirt? Where do stars go in the daytime?" This is followed by a selection of Misuzu's poems in both English and J This is a wonderful introduction to one of Japan's most beloved poets with appeal for both children and adults. The first part of the book introduces Misuzu Kaneko's short, tragic, but nonetheless productive life in winsome prose interspersed with verse in translation. A snippet: "Misuzu was a thoughtful child, and she had many questions: What does it feel like to be snow? What good is dirt? Where do stars go in the daytime?" This is followed by a selection of Misuzu's poems in both English and Japanese, all beautifully illustrated by Japanese artist Toshikado Hajiri. Publisher Chin Music Press has long had a reputation for quality, and this book is no exception. Even the endpapers are richly textured. This is a very special book about a poet whose timeless verses continue to resonate, and who deserves to be widely known, always remembered.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Niki Marion

    Really fascinating mini-bio of and collection of works by Misuzu Kaneko, a well-known and celebrated Japanese children's poet. CW: passing mention of STDs (which is pretty impressive) and direct mention of suicide, so know what you're getting into when recommending the book or reading it with much younger kiddos. Book would likely be best for ages 7+ I really liked most of the images by Toshikado Hajiri, but some of them really fell flat to me. When you view strokes of genius perspective renderin Really fascinating mini-bio of and collection of works by Misuzu Kaneko, a well-known and celebrated Japanese children's poet. CW: passing mention of STDs (which is pretty impressive) and direct mention of suicide, so know what you're getting into when recommending the book or reading it with much younger kiddos. Book would likely be best for ages 7+ I really liked most of the images by Toshikado Hajiri, but some of them really fell flat to me. When you view strokes of genius perspective rendering on one page and a much less concentrated compositional effort on another, it's hard to ignore the inconsistencies.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Molly Dettmann

    Misuzu's story is so sad, but also fascinating. The illustrations, and especially the use of color, convey this story so beautifully. The first half of the book tells her life story and the second half features some of her works. Her poetry ranges from simple, sweet, and child-like, to haunting and bittersweet. The poem section features the English translation and the original Japanese characters and was my favorite part.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Beautiful! I'm so glad I picked this one up and learned about this poet's beautiful work! Would recommend this to older kids, as the author does not shy away from some of the dark subject matter in Misuzu's life.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Poignant biographical story followed by the subject's poems. I'm so glad I read this.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.