A heartbreaking but essential perspective on war and survival.

READ REVIEW

A BOWL FULL OF PEACE

A TRUE STORY

A picture-book adaptation of the Sibert Honor book Sachiko: A Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivor (2016).

No one knows where Grandmother’s bowl came from, but everyone knows that it is precious. Passed down from mother to daughter, Grandmother’s bowl sits, full of food, in the middle of young Sachiko Yasui’s family table. Before every meal, everyone bows their heads and whispers, “itadakimasu,” or “we humbly receive this food.” As soldiers and sounds of war move into Nagasaki, Japan, Grandmother’s bowl holds less and less, but still, they express their gratitude. One day when Sachiko is playing outside, an enemy bomber approaches, and Nagasaki is destroyed. Forced to leave, Sachiko’s family experiences loss and sickness over the next few years before they return to Nagasaki. Digging through the rubble, Father finds Grandmother’s bowl without a chip or crack. Each year they fill Grandmother’s bowl to remember those they’ve lost and to pray for peace. Stelson shares this true story with young readers through a thoughtful, moving text. Kusaka’s illustrations are powerful and vivid, bringing readers into Sachiko’s experiences and emotions. Their chalky, weathered texture helps to keep the terrifying two-spread sequence that depicts the bombing from completely overwhelming readers. Text and art work together to show the devastating, lasting consequences of war and to convey a message of hope and peace for the future.

A heartbreaking but essential perspective on war and survival. (author’s note, photos, illustrator’s note, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 6-11)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2148-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Timely and stirring.

ENOUGH!

20 PROTESTERS WHO CHANGED AMERICA

A shoutout to heroes of nonviolent protest, from Sam Adams to the Parkland students.

Kicking off a proud tradition, “Samuel threw a tea party.” In the same vein, “Harriet led the way,” “Susan cast her vote,” “Rosa kept her seat,” “Ruby went to school,” and “Martin had a dream.” But Easton adds both newer and less-prominent names to the familiar roster: “Tommie and John raised their fists” (at the 1968 Summer Olympics, also depicted on the cover), for instance; “John and Yoko stayed in bed”; “Gilbert sewed a rainbow” (for San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day parade in 1978); “Jazz wore a dress”; and “America [Ferrera] said, ‘Time’s up.’ ” Viewed from low or elevated angles that give them a monumental look, the grave, determined faces of the chosen subjects shine with lapidary dignity in Chen’s painted, close-up portraits. Variations in features and skin tone are rather subtle, but in general both the main lineup and groups of onlookers are visibly diverse. The closing notes are particularly valuable—not only filling in the context and circumstances of each act of protest (and the full names of the protesters), but laying out its personal consequences: Rosa Parks and her husband lost their jobs, as did Ruby Bridges’ first-grade teacher, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos were banned for life from Olympic competition. Pull quotes in both the art and the endnotes add further insight and inspiration.

Timely and stirring. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-984831-97-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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A timely, necessary read.

LA FRONTERA

EL VIAJE CON PAPÁ / MY JOURNEY WITH PAPA

Co-authors Mills and Alva demystify la frontera in this autobiographical tale based on Alva’s childhood journey with his father from Mexico to Texas.

To provide for his growing family, Alfredo’s father decides to journey northward to “find a new home.” Alfredo joins his papá on this arduous voyage, knowing he’ll miss his family and his small village. After saying goodbye to his home and loved ones, Alfredo sets off in the early morning light alongside his father. Led to the Rio Grande by el coyote, Papa and Alfredo cross the river with the help of an old inner tube. When el coyote abandons Alfredo and his father, the pair must escape further into the harsh Texan landscape, away from la frontera. Presented in both Spanish and English, the retrospective narrative overflows with grueling, poignant details about the journey Alfredo and his father undertook. Yet Navarro’s mixed-media artwork succeeds in emphasizing the more-hopeful aspects of Alva’s story, namely love and strength in a familial context. Vivid shifts in color, light, and shadows from scene to scene gently pull readers along, complemented by powerful facial expressions during key moments. After almost a week of struggles, Alfredo and his father arrive at “the Embassy,” a makeshift camp behind a factory. As father and son adjust to their new life in the U.S., they never forget about those left behind.

A timely, necessary read. (appendix) (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78285-388-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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