Based on her great-grandfather’s experience in a Japanese “internment camp,” Yamasaki tells how Taro takes care of his younger brother, Jimmy, when he stops eating.
Fish has been a mainstay of their diet, but there is none in the camp. Much to his mother’s shame and distress, Jimmy simply refuses to eat. Yamasaki’s muscular acrylics depict fish swimming through the air all around Jimmy, giving concrete image to his longing. To save his brother’s life, at night Taro cuts through the barbed-wire fence, finds a distant stream, catches fish with his hands and returns—thus saving Jimmy’s life. Primarily a muralist, Yamasaki tellingly conveys the dangers Taro undergoes in her art, since the camp is guarded by armed soldiers in watch towers, closed in by fences and illuminated by floodlights. Her illustrations also picture people and places, both at home and in internment. A “Dear Reader” note relates a brief history of the evacuation and her family’s story, accompanied by archival photographs of the author’s family and the Granada Relocation Center in Colorado.
A new and moving look at one of the most disgraceful events in U.S. history, effectively told with childlike surrealism. (Picture book. 6-10)