for Sora and the Cloud by Felicia Hoshino
A curious child hops on a friendly cloud and has a magical journey flying through the sky. Features delightful watercolors and a bilingual Japanese translation.
Once a baby, now Sora is a boy who explores the world around him. First crawling and then walking, Sora soon learns how to climb a tree. Up there a friendly cloud awaits! Hopping aboard, Sora embarks on a fantastic trip. Curious birds, squealing kites and whispering fireworks whirl by as Sora and the Cloud share a breathtaking adventure in the sky. Along the way the Sora connects his past experiences with the present, which poignantly underscore how joyful memories of childhood and parenthood bind a family together.
An acclaimed artist, Hoshino authors her first picture book, inspired by her own experiences as a mother to her son Sora: a growing boy enjoys the ultimate daydream — to soar like a cloud! This wonderful flight of fancy is created in Hoshino's hallmark style: a unique combination of mixed media creates ethereal environments with subtle shading, and contemplative characters who invoke the innocence of youth.
Empowering themes of self-discovery, familial awareness, and cultural exchange, with colorfully expressive illustrations will prove popular with early elementary readers and teachers. Parents will appreciate the bilingual Japanese translation and informative glossary, which highlight how Hoshino sincerely shares her heritage with readers of all ages and backgrounds.
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ForeWord magazine Book of the Year - Bronze Medal Winner - 2011 Children''s Picture Books:
"A delicate and enchanting bilingual story with exceptional watercolor scenes."
"It is tempting to label ''Miyazaki-like'' anything appealing to children and Japanese in origin. But in this instance the analogy fits. The nameless cloud is a benign yet mysterious and uncontrollable presence as it lifts Sora, Totoro style, into the sky. There he views a skyscraper mid-construction, an amusement park, a festival of kites and other boyish marvels. Hoshino's intricate and delicate drawings deliver this parade of sightseeing pleasures in a way that is at once dreamlike and visceral."
- New York Times Book Review
"Prolific Japanese-American illustrator Felicia Hoshino makes her authorial debut in this delightful picture book...The bilingual text (Hoshino's English is accompanied by Hisa's Japanese translation) displays a simple exuberance that perfectly matches the light, joyful subject matter...Hoshino's soft, Japanesque watercolors perfectly punctuate Sora's adventure and include plenty of references to Hoshino's native city of San Francisco (the Golden Gate Bridge andcable cars, to name a couple)...With its local appeal, cultural relevance, and textual and aesthetic grace, this is a welcome addition for Bay Area collections."
- Bayviews, The Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California
"This warm picture book captures the physicality of imaginative play that gets wilder and wilder, and preschoolers will recognize the fun of crawling and climbing over everything, as well as the big dreams of flying in the sky."
- American Library Association, Booklist
"Sepia-tinted images set the tone for this warm and inviting bilingual fantasy from Hoshino....A line-by-line Japanese translation...allows parents of both cultures to offer read-alouds, while end notes define Japanese expressions and explain cultural elements."
- Publishers Weekly
"Sora's airborne fantasy is charmingly depicted with a dreamlike palette of pastel colors. Young readers will revel in finding visual connections within the illustrations as they identify repeated motifs. They will also enjoy poring over the intricately detailed spreads that show a bustling city street and an old-fashioned amusement park. The San Francisco setting in combination with the bilingual text deftly shows the child's Japanese American identity. Non-Japanese speakers won't miss anything vital due to the cultural and translation notes that introduce Japanese vocabulary and enrich readers' experience. Children will want to revisit Sora's imaginary adventure again and again."
- School Library Journal
"Hoshino illustrates this idyll with delicately colored paper-collage and paint scenes featuring semitransparent figures in harmonious compositions. Likewise, her poetic narrative (''From way, waaay, waaaay up in the sky, / fireworks whisper like the soft pitter-pattering of your heart'') is not only paralleled by a Japanese translation but extended by Japanese exclamations in the pictures and explanatory notes at the end. An airy flight of imagination, bi-cultural as well as bilingual."
- Kirkus Reviews
"I loved the illustrations, the writing, and the translation. But the genius in this book is the way it portrays the passage of time....This is the perfect book for a Japanese-English bilingual family, anyone interested in introducing other cultures to their kids, and both Japanese and English monolingual families. I hope this will become a classic, it has all the hallmarks of an award winner."
- Perogies and Gyoza