A young girl dreams of the day peace will come to contemporary Afghanistan, the war-torn country she loves.
Letting her imagination soar, a little girl looks to the sky and visualizes flying the “bright kite of peace” across Afghanistan into “people’s houses, their homes, their families, their hearts.” She sees her dream in children’s smiles and eyes, “a wonderful dream in which we all hold hands” and the “sound of war has truly gone forever.” She envisions a future filled with hope, opportunity and harmony. Speaking idealistically in the present tense, the little girl’s voice rings with compelling optimism, and her verbal images of the sky, kites, soaring and flying are visually reinforced in elegant, wistful illustrations that compositionally sweep the eye diagonally upward across the page from left to right. Somber, gray pencil drawings and tan backgrounds reflect the current bleak Afghan reality, while blue headscarves and red kites provide hopeful accents. Powerful images of dancing kites, ascending doves, women in burqas, a child playing with toys made from trash and flowers sprouting from tanks juxtapose the real and the aspirational. While topically relevant, the absence of historical, political or cultural context for the current Afghan crisis may leave young readers somewhat clueless. Ardent advocacy for Afghan peace. (Picture book. 5-7)