Press

Press Release announcing "Are You an Echo"

March 20, 2016  SCBWI Japan Translation Group, Picture Book to Share the Poetry and Life Story of Misuzu Kaneko

June 17, 2016  "Not since Hana’s Suitcase has such an exciting contribution to children’s literature emerged. Are You an Echo? has something for every reader: a compelling story and beautiful poems for children, factual accuracy and rich content for teachers and librarians, a respectful look at one woman poet’s experiences for feminists, and a glimpse into another time and place for parents and educators committed to multiculturalism, a fascinating genre mash-up for scholars, and a just-plain-gorgeous-in-the-hand book for everybody. Are You an Echo? will enrich the lives of every reader."—Michelle Superle, CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials, Review.

July 4, 2016  “Ito and Tsuboi render Misuzu’s plainspoken poems into graceful English…. Hajiri’s warmhearted illustrations of turn-of-the-century Japanese life recall the work of Allan Say; they dwell on the closeness between Misuzu, her mother, and her daughter.”—Publisher's Weekly, Review.

July 19, 2016  Publisher's Weekly, Chin Music Press Translates Japanese Children's Poet for U.S. Market

July 20, 2016  "Striking, memorable imagery—a lost hat enjoying a new life as a bird’s nest, the mystery of a cicada’s molted husk—guarantees fruitful rereadings for readers of all ages."—Kirkus Reviews, Review.

Aug. 6, 2016  Winnipeg Free Press, Paper Chase

Aug., 31, 2016  “Are You an Echo? is a wonderful little book, both for the story and the poems (not to mention the illustrations), bringing a talented voice to the Anglophone world, one that reflects on matters most people gloss over.”—Tony Malone, Tony's Reading List, Review

Sept. 10, 2016  "Astonishingly beautiful and soulful, it hit the mark in every way. It was a reminder that softness and sensitivity have enormous value despite (and actually because of) all the harshness in the world."—Eve Kushner, Joy o' Kanji, Review and Poem Analysis.

Sept. 15, 2016  “The poems themselves will appeal to children, while the book as a whole will speak to readers who are interested in Japanese literature and culture, in poetry and translation, and anyone who finds inspiration in poetry’s immortal nature.”—Kerry Clare, Quill & Quire, Review.  Kerry offers some insight into her review on her personal Blog.  

Sept. 15, 2016  "This wonderfully illustrated book stresses the positive legacy of Kaneko’s tragic life. A recommended purchase for all collections, especially those with an interest in international poetry."—Marilyn Taniguchi, School Library Journal, Review.

Sept. 15, 2016  “This lovingly wrought text brilliantly honors Kaneko’s work and gives readers a welcome opportunity to revel in her unique way of looking at the world."—Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, Booklist, Starred Review.

Sept. 19, 2016 "This is without a doubt one of the most amazing books of the year."—Betsy Bird, in the "Newberry/Caldecott 2017 Fall Prediction Edition" of her blog, "A Fuse 8 Production", on School Library Journal, Blog Post.

Sept. 20, 2016. Sally Ito's article "Forgotten Woman: the Life of Misuzu Kaneko" is published on Electric Literature, Article.  It is, as far as we know, the most comprehensive piece to appear in English on Misuzu's life, save an unpublished masters thesis from 2001.  

Sept. 21, 2016. "Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko is a beautifully packaged, substantial picture book to treasure — a book to give poetry lovers of all ages, in all corners of the world."—Holly Thompson, Contemporary Japanese Lit, Blog Post.

Sept. 23, 2016. "Complemented by Toshikado Hajiri’s beautiful illustrations, this is a wholly unique book which introduces readers young and old to the life and poetry of one of Japan’s most celebrated children’s poets."—Jenny Zbrizher, Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, Blog Post.

Sept. 24, 2016. "Even if you have no kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, or strange kids you can borrow, buy this beautiful object for your coffee table. You will be the coolest kid on the block."—Richard Derus, Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud, Review

Oct. 1, 2016. "This is an outstanding collection of poems that reflects a wide variety of emotions and observations while giving readers new and colorful images of Japan."—Rashaad Jorden, JQ Magazine, Review.

Oct. 6, 2016. "In many ways, this book is an example of what children’s poetry should strive to be. It tells the truth, but not the truth of adults attempting to impart wisdom upon their offspring. This is the truth that the children find on their own, but often do not bother to convey to the adults in their lives. Considering how much of this book concerns itself with being truthful about Misuzu’s own life and struggles, this conceit matches its subject matter to a tee. Beautiful, mesmerizing, necessary reading for one and all."—Betsy Bird, A Fuse 8 Production (School Library Journal blog), Review.  

Oct. 20, 2016. "Kaneko’s poetry is immensely charming and deeply compassionate; I am so incredibly glad to have encountered it."—Ash Brown, Experiments in Manga, Review.

Oct. 21, 2016. Janet Wong interviews David Jacobson and Sally Ito at Poetry for Children blog, Article.  

Oct. 27, 2016. "An unforgettable story, told in a bold way."—Julie Danielson interviews David Jacobson in her blog at Kirkus.—Article.  She also posts a gallery of illustrator Toshikado Hajiri's work, Gallery.

Nov., 2, 2016. "Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko is a fascinating book that had me reeling. It's beautiful in both illustration and in the narrative and poetry. It's also unique. It's part biography and part poetry anthology."—Crystal Brunelle, Reading Through Life, Blog Review

Nov. 3, 2016. “This is a lovely, artfully-constructed book with illustrations, poetry and prose integrated into something very much than the mere sum of its parts…..Are You an Echo? is nominally targeted at children ages 7-10, but I think 7-70 would be more accurate. Anyone with any memory of childhood is likely to be touched."—Peter Gordon, Asian Review of Books, Review.

Nov. 4, 2016. "Are You an Echo? is a rare treasure, a unique hybrid of biography and poetry.... Elegantly designed with textured endpapers and printed on thick creamy stock, it’s the kind of book you know is special from the first moment you hold it in your hands. Don’t we especially need a book right now of quiet beauty and strength that promotes kindness in a harsh, unforgiving world?"—Jama Rattigan, Jama's Alphabet Soup, Blog Review.

Nov. 7, 2016. Are You an Echo? "is one of these very special books which disguises depth, breadth and richness in its short pages. It is bold and tender, thoughtful and thought-provoking, handsome and restorative. It’s also full of innocent curiosity, delightful laughter and quiet but genuine kid-appeal."—Zoe Toft, Playing by the Book, Blog Review.

Nov. 10, 2016. "It is one of those books that you’ll want to read over and over– one time through won’t be enough! I am a self-proclaimed fanatic of children’s picture books– and can honestly say that this one stands out from the others in its beauty and uniqueness."—Hatsuho Cook, Hiragana Mama, Blog Review.

Nov. 11, 2016. Robyn Hood Black interviews David Jacobson at her blog, Article

Nov. 16, 2016. Cynthia Leitch Smith posts an essay by David Jacobson on "Trusting the Illustrator" at her blog, Cynsations.  Article

Nov. 18, 2016.  “Every so often a book comes along that is aimed at children, but speaks volumes to all ages and is, in essence, a gift to literature. Are You An Echo? is such a book."—Bernie Goedhart, Montreal Gazette, Review

Nov. 21, 2016.  "As we give thanks this week amidst tumultuous times, let Misuzu’s resonating words offer the same “comfort and hope” as they did, most recently, when her fellow countrymen and women set about rebuilding their country five years ago. Her kindness and compassion live on … we just need to listen, learn, and do."—Terry Hong, the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center's Book Dragon, Review

Nov. 27, 2016.  "This might be the most moving book I have read in 2016.  Misuzu Kaneko’s life was ultimately tragic, but her poetry reveals a beautiful spirit who saw life and hope in ordinary objects around her."—Janet Hamilton, A Kids Book a Day blog, Blog Review

Nov. 29, 2016.  "The story, illustrations, and poetry are a wonderful introduction to a person whose work is virtually unknown in the West."—Michael Richey, Tofugu.  Blog Review.

Nov. 30, 2016.  "New children's book presents life and work of beloved Japanese poet,"—Justin Maki, Kyodo News. Article.

Dec. 2, 2016.  Tofugu presents "18 Questions for Professional Japanese Poetry Translator, Sally Ito"—Michael Richey, Tofugu, Article.

Dec. 2, 2016.  "An elegant and unusual book for children ages 7-11 and their families."—Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal, Review.  

Dec. 2, 2016.  "It's a very special volume about a poet whose timeless verses continue to resonate, and who deserves to be widely known, and always remembered."—Suzanne Kamata, Literary Mama, Blog Review.  

Dec. 2, 2016.  ""Are You An Echo?"  offers upper elementary readers and beyond  a poignant glimpse into Misuzu Kaneko's life, weaving history, Japanese culture, and the joys and challenges of a woman seeking to balance life and art--a not-to-be-missed treasure of a book."—Center for Teaching through Children's Books, Blog Review.

Dec. 4, 2016.  "Are You an Echo?" is selected for the 2017 NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Notable Poetry Books list.

Dec. 8, 2016.  "The nature scenes in this book, whether it’s a rising sun or sea alongside mountains and sky, are spectacular.  The whole book is a wonder."—Betsy Bird, in a list of "Calde-nots", books that are worthy but ineligible for the Caldecott Medal because their illustrators are not US citizens, Fuse 8 Production blog on School Library Journal, Article.  

Dec. 9, 2016.  "A lovely book by a small press."—Jonathan Hunt, in a list of Newbery underdogs, Heavy Medal blog on School Library Journal, Article

Dec. 11, 2016.  "Are You an Echo? Is an unusual achievement, a labor of love that has emerged from four separate talents in three different countries."—Janet Brown, International Examiner, Review.  

Dec. 15, 2016.  Are You an Echo? is selected one of Booklist's Editors' Choice:  Books for Youth, 2016, Article.

Dec. 15, 2016.  "Are You An Echo? would make a wonderful Christmas gift: for poetry lovers, history buffs, language learners, and those who simply enjoy beautifully bound and illustrated books (the hardcover’s interior lined with textured blue cloth-paper, too)."—Nicole Nolan, #Am Reading blog.  Blog Review.  

Dec. 21, 2016. "I’m gaga for this title...  Cynical beast that I am, I would sooner eat my own tongue than use a tired phrase like “childlike wonder” to describe something.  And yet . . . I’m stuck.  Honestly there’s no other way to adequately convey to you what Kaneko has done so perfectly with this book.  Come for the biography and history lesson.  Stay for the incomparable poems."—Betsy Bird, in a list of "2016 Poetry Books for Kids", Fuse 8 Production blog on School Library Journal, Article.  Betsy Bird also includes Echo in a list of "Unique Biographies for Kids", a list of "Bilingual Books for Kids", and in a list of "100 Magnificent Children's Books 2016."

Dec. 21, 2016.  "It’s a beautiful book and a beautiful story of hope and redemption."—Annette Bay Pimentel, on her blog of the same new, Blog Review.

Dec. 31, 2016.  "In a world beset by climate change, cultural strife and political polarization, Kaneko’s poems are timely reminders about the value of a deeper kind of empathy — not just for each other, but for the world itself."—Louise George Kittaka, The Japan Times, Article.   

Jan. 11, 2017.  KUOW (NPR Seattle) Poetry Correspondent Elizabeth Austen spoke with Anchor Bill Radke about "Are You an Echo?".  The segment included Yuko Enomoto reading Kaneko's "Treat" in both English and Japanese.  Podcast.

Jan. 13, 2017. "A veritable labour of love."—Myra Garces-Bacsal, Gathering Books blog (Singapore).  Blog Review.

Feb. 1, 2017.  Though a "tough book...It's a book that will stick with readers forever, reminding them of the impact of words and how transformative they can be."—Mel Schuit, Lets Talk Picture Books blog.  Blog Review.

Feb. 1, 2017.  Actress Tomoko Fujita (who played Misuzu in a theatrical production) writes this blog post about Echo after attending the Feb. 1 Japan launch event in Tokyo .  Blog Post.  

Feb. 4, 2017.  "海を渡る金子みすゞ, 詩と生涯伝える絵本がアメリカで出版,  美しい挿絵と響く言葉," Saki Mizoroki, in BuzzFeed Japan.  Only in Japanese.  Article.

Feb. 9, 2017.  Translator Deborah Iwabuchi reports on the Echo team's presentation at SCBWI Japan in Tokyo on Feb. 5.  Article.

Feb. 9, 2017.  "This book is exceptionally beautiful. Half biography and half poetry anthology, this book is sure to capture its readers hearts."—Adrianna Davis, in Confessions of a Kidlit Lover.  Blog review.

Feb. 13, 2017.  "In conjunction with the Five College Doors to the World Project, we've been adding new picture books to our resource library. Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko, is one of our favorites."—Five College Center for East Asian Studies.  E-Bulletin

Feb. 15, 2017. Are You an Echo? is selected one of Booklist's Top Ten Biographies for Youth: 2017.  Article.  

Feb. 28, 2017.  Are You an Echo? is featured in a special edition of the mail magazine of the Yamaneko Honyaku Club, a society of children's publishing pros and translators in Japan.  It includes interviews and a review but is only available in Japanese.  Mail magazine

March 2, 2017. "A courageous refusal to sugar-coat the complexity of life" and "A celebration of indiscriminate empathy and a sensitive reminder that the tragic and the transcendent can coexist."—Maria Popova, BrainPickings, Blog Review.

March 10, 2017.  "Are You an Echo? is one of the most affecting picture books I have ever read,"—Matthew Winner, in an interview with David Jacobson and Toshikado Hajiri on the All the Wonders podcast.  Podcast interview.

March 11, 2017.  "I have read it many times, and am astonished by the story it tells, the beauty of the poetry, and the path taken to get it to publication."—Sally Bender, "Sals Fiction Addiction" blog. Blog Review.

March 14, 2017.  「みすゞの愛情、米にもこだま 詩の絵本出版 排除広がるなか「やさしさに共感」(“Love for Misuzu Even Echoes in the U.S.:  a Picture Book Containing Her Poems Is Published, Amidst Growing Exclusionism, Attraction to Her ‘Kindness’”)—Mayumi Ujioka in the Asahi Shimbun.  Only in Japanese.  Here are links to the Article, a shorter digital version, and an English translation.

March 21, 2017.  "I just came across Misuzu Kaneko, a Japanese poet whose work is full of innocent wonder for nature and sensitivity for life."—Jessica Cline, in the New York Public Library's "14 New Poetry Picks for World Poetry Day."  Blog post.  

April 1, 2017.  "Wow, what a slice of history, of life, of the universe, captured."—J. Ahn, Librariahn.  Blog review.

April 2, 2017.  "A delight to the imagination, this is a book to savor, study, and enjoy again and again."—Susan Roberts, Books for the Curious Child, Blog review.  

April 14, 2017.  "It presents the tragic story with a delicacy that befits the sensitivity of Misuzu herself, and with images that bring the poet’s story to life, but the poems as well."—Alec Jordan, Tokyo Weekender.  Article and interview.

April 19, 2017.  "Think of her as a Japanese Pablo Neruda and/or Emily Dickerson. Her sad, short life is depicted in this biography/poetry hybrid picture book. This combo really works for me since she is unfamiliar to most of us."—Pragmatic Mom blog.  Blog review.

April 20, 2017.  Are You an Echo? receives an honorable mention in the children's literature category of the Freeman Book Awards, meant to "to recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of East and Southeast Asia."

April 23, 2017.  "Misuzu Kaneko's beautiful poetry is a shining example of how poetry can help us stop for a moment and think about the world from a different point of view."—Mary Ann Schemer, Great Kid Books blog.  Blog review

April 25, 2017.  Children's author Uma Krishnaswami interviews David Jacobson on the creation of Are You an Echo?.  Interview.

April 27, 2017.  Parade magazine includes Are You an Echo? in a list of new poetry volumes for Poem in Your Pocket Day.  Article.

April 27, 2017.  "Even if you don’t know Japanese, these brief poems retain much of their magic even in translation. Kaneko, as an adult, could still see the world through a child’s eyes."—Charlotte Riggle, Catherine's Pascha blog.  Blog review.

May 9, 2017.  NHK World Radio posted a report about Are You an Echo? and its popularity abroad, in 18 languages.  Here is a link to the English-language version.  

May 23, 2017. "Misuzu Kaneko’s work transcends all manner of temporal, spatial and cultural boundaries. Her message of understanding and unconditional kindness may have an essential bearing upon today’s fractured world."—Rebecca Speare-Cole, Metropolis Magazine (Japan). Review.

May 26, 2017.  Misuzu's poems are "are child-centered, full of empathy, and sensitive, with many poems personifying animals or inanimate objects — something children do constantly."—Jennifer M. Brabander, The Horn Book.  Review (originally published in the Jan./Feb. issue.)

June 2, 2017.  Anti-Defamation League includes Are You an Echo? in its "Books Matter" list of children's books that "have the power to instill empathy, affirm children’s sense of self, teach about others, transport to new places and inspire actions on behalf of social justice."  Listing.  

 

Events

May 25-29, 2016, Three illustrations from Are You an Echo? displayed in the illustrators’ gallery at the Asian Festival of Chldren’s Content, Singapore

September 22, 2016, 7pm  Translator Sally Ito at McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Ave., Winnipeg, MB. 

September 24, 2016, Translator Sally Ito appearing at The Winnipeg International Writers Festival

September 29, 2016, Author David Jacobson at Queen Anne Book Co., 1811 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle, WA.  Video clips from the event appear here and here.  

December 21, 2016, 6pm.  Author David Jacobson at Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY. Facebook event page

January 27, 2017, 5:30pm.  Author David Jacobson will appear in panel discussion with Setsuo Yazaki at the Honkan ("Main Building") on the Omiya campus of Ryukoku University,125-1 Daiku-cho, Omiya Higashi Iri, Shichijo Dori, Shimokyo-ku, Kyoto.  Doors open at 5pm.  Tickets cost 2,000 yen (students 1,000 yen).  For more details, see the Facebook event page.

January 29, 2017, 2:00pm.  Author David Jacobson will appear in panel discussion with Setsuo Yazaki at the special branch temple ("bekkaku betsuin") of Ganjoji, 19-chome, Gojo Doori, Asahikawa, Hokkaido.  Doors open at 1:30pm.  Tickets cost 1,000 yen (free for junior high school students or younger).  For more details, see the Facebook event page.

February 1, 2017, 6:30pm.  Author David Jacobson will appear in panel discussion with Setsuo Yazaki at Myonichikan at Jiyugakuen.  2-31-3 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo.  Doors open at 6pm.  Tickets cost 2000 yen.  For more details see the Facebook event page.  

February 4, 2017. 1-2:30pm.  David Jacobson, Toshikado Hajiri and Michiko Tsuboi will give a presentation on the creative collaboration behind Are You an Echo?.  Tokyo Women's Plaza, Audiovisual Rooms A & B, 5-53-67 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.  Near United Nations University.  For more details see SCBWI's event page.  

July 28, 2017.  6:30pm.  David Jacobson and Dan Shafer discuss Are You an Echo? with the Redmond Association of Spoken Word, at VALA Eastside, 7525 166th Ave NE, Suite D140, Redmond, WA.  For more details and precise driving instructions, see RASP's site.