Written by: Dori Kleber
Illustrated by: G. Brian Karas
For ages: 4-9 years
Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Culture & Traditions, Social-Emotional Development, Self-Expression.
Summary: Joey loves things that fold. He is enamored by maps and accordions, and sleeps in a foldout bed. When Joey learns about origami from his friend Sarah Takimoto’s mother, he decides he MUST become an origami master. After that, Joey practices on everything that he can get his hands on that will fold, including his sister’s sheet music and the dollar bills in his mother’s wallet. Finally, his mother puts the kibosh on his incessant folding, and Joey feels defeated. To raise his spirits, Joey goes next door to Muy Mexicana for some fajitas (fajitas make us feel better too). Speaking with Mr. Lopez, Joey laments that while he is being patient and practicing everyone else is losing their patience with him. Mr. Lopez tells Joey that many artists are misunderstood, especially when they are learning. While Joey is waiting for his fajitas, he folds the table napkin into a pyramid. Mr. Lopez asks if Joey could make all of the table napkins look fancy and Joey sets to work. After school Joey goes to Muy Mexicana and practices his origami with the table napkins, each day getting more and more intricate. Finally, Joey is able to make a crane out of the napkins! His hard work and patience has paid off, and he is an origami master!
- What are you a master at?
- What is something that you had to practice for a long time before you became a master at it?
- What is a new skill that you would like to learn?
- How do you think you could learn about it?
Continuing the Conversation:
- In the back of the book, there is a set of instructions for an origami ladybug! Try it out, and see if you want to become an origami master like Joey.
- Origami is popular in Japan. Learn about the origins of it, and look at some pictures of really ornate and complicated designs. Is there a specific title a person has that creates these paper masterpieces? What about some folklore associated with origami?
- The paper used for origami is special, and usually has decorations on it. Try making your own paper to make art with. What is the same and what is different about the paper you made and origami paper? Where does paper come from? Who made the first paper? Take a trip around the world on the internet and learn more about this household staple that most of us use everyday.
About the Author & the Illustrator:
Dori Kleber was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia as the top student in her graduating class. She began her career as a newspaper reporter in North Carolina and South Carolina before returning to her hometown to work in public relations and corporate branding. After more than twenty years as a professional writer, she began writing fiction for children. Her debut book, More-igami, was published by Candlewick Press in 2016. Dori lives in the Atlanta area with her husband and two children.
G. Brian Karas was born in September 1957 in Milford, CT. In 1979 he graduated from Paier School of Art in Hamden, CT. From 1979 to 1982 he worked at Hallmark Cards as a greeting card artist in the Humorous Department. He has been a freelance artist since 1982 and has written and illustrated many books which have won numerous awards. He lives in the Hudson Valley of New York.