From Librarian Ms. Pat

Last Wednesday, March 21st, the two 4th grade Japanese classes hosted author, David Jacobson at their library time.  Mr. Jacobson is the principal person behind a team of writers and illustrators who created the book “Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzo Kaneko.” This brief biography of a Japanese poet who lived more than one hundred years ago,  also contains several selections of her poetry for children, including the title poem, “Are You an Echo” which was used extensively as a public service ad during the 2011 tsunami.

Mr. Jacobson , who spoke to the 4th graders in both Japanese and English, talked to the students about the process of writing the book (40 drafts!) and what it was like to work with an “international cast” of writers, translators and illustrator from the United States, Japan and Canada.  Much of his presentation involved our students reading and discussing several of Kaneko’s poems.  As a non-Japanese speaker, I was in awe
of how our students read the poems in both English and Japanese with such fluency and expression.  After the students had gone to lunch, Jacobson commented on how impressed he was by the students’ Japanese, “Their pronunciation was beautiful and very natural sounding.”  This is a real tribute to our Japanese teachers and interns.  (I have several copies of this book “on spec” from the University Book Store.  I will keep them until the end of the month.

If you are interested in purchasing one of them, feel free to email me.

Back to: McDonald Elementary News

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