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A must-read story of a lesser-known World War II event and its aftermath

The true story of the Japanese pilot who bombed the continental United States during World War II.

In 1941, the United States was drawn into World War II after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. The U.S. retaliated with a bombing raid on Tokyo. Wanting to prove that the continental U.S. could be bombed, Japan sent Nobuo Fujita in a small plane to bomb the woods of Oregon and start a raging fire. Flying over the small town of Brookings, Oregon, Nobuo dropped the bombs into the forest, but the bombs did not create the devastation and panic that Japan had hoped for. After Japan surrendered to the U.S. and its allies, Nobuo resumed civilian life with his family but lived with guilt and shame over his wartime actions. Years later the town of Brookings invited the Japanese bomber to their Memorial Day festival. Readers can follow his emotional journey toward forgiveness and peace. Nobuo’s story of reconciliation, not only for him, but for Japan and the U.S., is powerful and poignant. Using watercolors and finely inked lines, Iwai illustrates the moving moments and events in Nobuo’s life with grace and humanity. The story captures a side of World War II readers may not have seen before.

A must-read story of a lesser-known World War II event and its aftermath . (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-43076-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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A fragmentary memoir, but warm, humorous and engaging overall.

Anecdotal paintings and reminiscences of two childhood years spent in China, by an artist now in her 90s.

Following up Once Upon a Full Moon (2007), an account of her family’s journey from Canada to Kwangtung province, Quan recalls 17 experiences or incidents during the stay. These include feasting on New Year’s Day (“Mama steamed a whole chicken inside a winter melon and made sweet red and green bean paste…”), gathering to watch a teen relative take a bucket shower (“We all laughed with glee”), and welcoming both a new piglet and, later, a new baby brother. Opposite each memory, a full-page, loosely brushed watercolor in a naïve style adds both cultural and comical notes with depictions of small, active or intent figures in village dress and settings. It’s a sunny picture, but there are references to the real dangers of pirates and brigands, as well as a comment about the author’s beloved Popo (grandmother) walking to church on bound feet. These, along with a final parting made particularly poignant since the baby, being foreign-born, had to be left in China for several years, keep it from becoming a sugary nostalgiafest.

A fragmentary memoir, but warm, humorous and engaging overall. (afterword, with photo of Popo) (Illustrated memoir. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-77049-383-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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Sad indeed, but a little bland—though less traumatic in the telling than the stories of Jumbo or the Faithful Elephants...

In this true tale of an elephant that crushed a keeper after peacefully giving zoo visitors rides for nearly 40 years, Fenton tones the drama down to near nonexistence (for better or worse).

Arriving at the Melbourne Zoo as a youngster, Queenie began giving rides in 1905. She became such a fixture that children wrote her letters, her birthday was celebrated each year, and she even marched in the Centenary Floral Parade in 1934. After creating an endearing but not anthropomorphic portrait of her pachyderm protagonist, the author, warning that “Queenie’s story has a sad ending,” goes on to explain that even though the 1944 killing might have been just an accident, “the gentle Indian elephant was put to sleep.” Furthermore, she was never replaced; the elephants in today’s zoo occupy a habitat where they can “do just what elephants like to do.” Neither the incident itself nor Queenie’s end are specifically described or depicted, and Gouldthorpe’s illustrations, which look like old, hand-tinted photographs, put a nostalgic distance between viewers and events.

Sad indeed, but a little bland—though less traumatic in the telling than the stories of Jumbo or the Faithful Elephants (1988) killed at the Tokyo Zoo. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6375-9

Page Count: 25

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2013

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