MYEKO'S GIFT by Kay Haugaard


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People who have come from other countries bring the things they love as gifts, "" Papa-san tells Myeko to still her disquietude at being partly Japanese, partly American. In a series of encounters with her classmates, Myeko suffers the pain of being new and strange; her friendly overtures are rebuffed and turned to ridicule; her mother persists in following Japanese customs. Slowly, gradually -- and this is one of the strengths of the story -- she discovers that the children are intrigued by her playthings and pastimes just because they are different: playing Kabuki is newer than watching television. When Myeko thinks she has been accepted, an ugly incident involving deception by another girl isolates her temporarily, but she has found the key to friendship in kindness, and the answer to her envy in a unique identity. Though the style lacks polish, the simple strength shows through, and what might have been a chronicle of celebrations (foretold in the glossary) becomes an affecting, out-reaching little tale. Dora Ternei's illustrations have an unassuming individuality; they capture children's attitudes effectively.

Pub Date: Dec. 26th, 1966
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman