SINGING SHIJIMI CLAMS by Naomi Kojima

SINGING SHIJIMI CLAMS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Told and illustrated with equal spareness, this tender Japanese tale will please young readers who find the fate of the oysters in “The Walrus and the Carpenter” discomfiting. Having left her “mean and feisty” years behind, an old witch not only can’t bring herself to pour the bagful of small, gently snoring clams she’s brought home into her boiling miso soup, but when they wake and begin to cry, she offers to take them back to the shore. Buying train tickets for so many, however, seems impossible—until the clams begin to sing “with pretty little voices, like tiny popping bubbles,” charming enough contributions from passersby to finance the trip. By the end not, only have the faces that Kojima puts on the clam shells in her tiny, delicate line drawings gone from dismay to delight, but the habitual frowns on the witch and her bad-tempered cat have likewise changed to smiles. All live happily ever after on the beach, “surrounded by the pretty voices of the clams, the gentle sound of the waves, and the warmth of the sun.” A feel-good episode if ever there was one. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-933605-12-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Kane/Miller
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2006