Books by Kazuko G. Stone

TEN ONI DRUMMERS by Mathew Gollub
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2000

Ten garishly hued creatures from Japanese folklore gather one by one on a beach for an exuberant drumfest in this bedtime-cum-counting-rhyme from the creators of Cool Melons—Turn to Frogs! (1998). Growing in size as well as number in Stone's simply drawn seaside scenes, the oni caper about wildly. They are comic figures despite staring red eyes (only two each—unlike their cousins in Arlene Mosel's Funny Little Woman, 1973), horns, and fangs, providing as much entertainment for readers as for the young narrator: "Ichi, ni, san, TUN-TUN! / One two three, around they run. . . ." After a night of chasing bad dreams away: "Then as daybreak lights the land, / they shrink and sink back in the sand." Perfect fare for fans of wild rumpuses—with an afterword that includes background information on oni, taiko (Japanese drums), and charts for writing 1-10 in kanji script. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 15, 1998

Gollub (Uncle Snake, 1996, etc.) translates 33 of Issa's more than 20,000 haiku, intersperses them through a short biography, and caps it all with an explanation of some of the poems' less obvious images. With the Japanese originals running decoratively along their margins, Stone's appealing formal paintings illustrate the poems literally: children in traditional dress stand with their mouths up and open as "Mouth-watering snowflakes fall/lightly, lightly,/heaven's snack," and green melons in a basket do "turn to frogs!/If people come near." Gollub explains that the haiku are not presented chronologically, so any connections between them and specific incidents in Issa's troubled life are speculative. Nevertheless, readers will get a glimpse of the poet's extraordinary range of subject and feeling, as well as cogent instruction in how to read and understand these deceptively simple verses. (Picture book. 7-9) Read full book review >