Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Pair of Red Clogs

by Masako Matsuno
Purple House Press
(1960, 1988)


A pair of old cracked wooden clogs!
I found them last night in a storeroom of my house
when I was looking for a box to send a new pair of clogs
to my little granddaughter.

Matsuno descibes the new pair she is sending to her granddaughter, far away and then remembers back to when she received the red lacquered pair in the box. 

One evening,
when I was as young as my granddaughter is now,
I went shopping with my mother.

And then she describes the store, the experience of picking this pair of clogs (she was only allowed to pick one pair) and how they sounded as she walked (kara koro, kara koro). It is a thrilling shopping trip and once she has them she joins in a traditional Japanese game and the red lacquered clogs are damaged.  They no longer go kara koro, kara koro as she walks and she gets them dirty in order to force mother to buy new ones now. 

The story is very well done showing an Asian child with a very normal situation that all children can relate to and predict the outcome.  The illustrations are beautifully drawn by Kazue Mizumura, with Japanese textures, dress and custums demonstrated throughout. I wished I could have located pages online to show some scenes from inside the book. This  makes a wonderful multicultural choice.  I thought the book was brand new until I looked up the copyright for this post.  It was new at my public library and definetely does not look dated. 
5/5 peaceful stars
Highly recommended for elementary

1 comment:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I LOVE the cover on this one. So happy u loved it.