Monday, April 24, 2017

Bibliophile's Corner

Are You An Echo?
by Misuzu Kaneko

Flap Copy Description:
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.

My Thoughts:
This beautiful book was translated from Japanese and features the poetry of Japan's most celebrated children's poet - it is exquisite. The collaboration of David Jacobson, Sally Ito, and Michiko Tsuboi took years to complete. The colorful illustrations lovingly depict places where Kaneko lived as a child, and where her life ended all too soon. I highly recommend Are You An Echo to readers aged eight to eighty. (The subject of suicide is briefly hinted at in the poet's biography.)

Click here to learn more about the poet, Misuzu Kaneko.


  1. Sounds like a lovely read. The title grabbed me right away. Thanks, Victoria. You always manage to introduce me to books I haven't heard of.

    1. You're welcome, Ruth. Have a wonderful week!