Authors

Komako Sakai

Komako Sakai 酒井駒子

Komako Sakai (1966–)  is a native of Hyōgo Prefecture. After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts, she worked for a time as a designer of kimono and other traditional textiles before becoming a picture-book author. Her drawings of children and animals are delicate, endearing, and tinged with a note of sadness that seems to draw out readers’ sympathies. Since leaping into the limelight with Yoru kuma (Night Bear) in 1999 she has continued to produce hits, many of which have been picked up for overseas editions, including Emily’s Balloon (tr. 2006) and The Snow Day (tr. 2009). Kitsune no kamisama (My Jump Rope and the Little Foxes), with a story by Kimiko Aman, won a Japan Picture Book Award in 2003. Her Kin’yōbi no Satō-chan (Friday Sugar) was awarded a Plaque at the 2005 Biennial of Illustration Bratislava. In 2006, Mad at Mommy (tr. 2010) received the French Pitchou and Dutch Zilveren Griffel Prizes. Sakai also illustrates storybooks by other writers.

Books by Komako Sakai
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    Emily’s Balloon

    Emily gets a yellow balloon when she's in town and takes it safely home tied to her finger. But when her Mom unties it for her inside the house, it floats up to the ceiling. Mom gets it down and ties a spoon to the string. Now the balloon floats at just a …

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    The Snow Day

    The story is told from the perspective of a little boy rabbit. When he gets up in the morning, his mother tells him that it's been snowing overnight and school has been canceled for the day. He wants to go out and play in it, but she says not until it sto …

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    Mad at Mommy

    This is one of the best-known titles by picture-book author Komako Sakai, who, thanks to frequent translations of her works, enjoys a large following both in Japan and abroad. "Mommy, I—, I—, I am so mad at you!" A little boy rabbit raises a silent c …

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    Hannah’s Night

    Little Hannah wakes up to discover that it’s still the middle of the night. The rest of her family is sound asleep—her big sister in the bed next to her, and her parents in their room downstairs. Quietly sneaking from her bed, Hannah begins making her …

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    Little Riko’s House

    Little Riko loves to play with her dolls and stuffed toys. But her big brother barges in and tells her to go somewhere else. Then Mama inattentively kicks Riko’s stuffed deer as she hurries about her daily tasks. Is there any place where Riko can play i …

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    Friday Sugar

    Three elegantly illustrated, dream-like stories tell about small children spending time alone. The title tale centers on a little girl known as “Friday Sugar.” As she naps in her yard one afternoon, birds, bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, ladybugs an …

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