Monday, January 22, 2007

My Father's Shop

Ichikawa, Satomi. 2006. MY FATHER’S SHOP. La Jolla, CA: Kane/Miller. ISBN 1929132999 [Suggested Grade Levels PK-3]

Mustafa is a young Moroccan boy who apparently helps his father in his carpet-selling shop. One day Mustafa finds a carpet with a hole in it. Since it is damaged his father lets Mustafa have it on the condition that Mustafa learn foreign languages. The father immediately begins the language lessons, but Mustafa is so bored that as soon as his father turns his back, Mustafa is out the door with the carpet on his head. The multicolored carpet attracts a rooster with the same colored plumage. Before long this precocious boy and rooster draw the attention of several tourists each describing how a rooster sounds in his country (“Co-co-ri-co” in France, “Qui-qui-ri-qui” in Spain, etc.). Mustafa is so pleased to have learned “rooster” is so many different languages that he dashes back to his father’s shop with all the tourists and potential customers trailing behind.

This delightful picture book gently teaches a multicultural lesson while capturing the essence of boyhood. A typical child, Mustafa finds numerous ways to entertain himself with a carpet that has a hole. Ichikawa’s artwork is outstanding. Some of the spreads include crowds of people, yet every person’s face is expressive and the bodies display movement. The colorful vibrant illustrations complement the mood of the story and are a real treat.

Investigate how animal sounds are expressed in different languages. Create posters with the picture/drawing of each animal accompanied by the sound it makes written in different languages.

Other children’s books with international settings by Satomi Ichikawa:
Ichikawa, Satomi. LA LA ROSE. ISBN 0399240292
Ichikawa, Satomi. MY PIG ARMADILLO. ISBN 0399237682

By S. Zulema Silva Bewley

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