THE PEACE BELL by Margi Preus


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Age Range: 5 - 8
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A terribly earnest fictionalized version of an actual event. A girl named Katie is visiting her friend Yuko in Japan, and Yuko’s grandmother tells them a story. As a child, she had loved the sound of the temple bell, rung 108 times at midnight on New Year’s Eve. But during World War II, the bell was shipped away with many others to be used as scrap metal for the war effort. Even as the grandmother grew up, married and had a child, she always missed the deep, sweet sound of the bell. Years after the war, the bell, which American sailors had found and shipped to Minnesota, was returned to its home in Japan as a gesture of friendship. Takahashi’s lovely acrylics are as sweet and precise as the text, which includes a few Japanese words. The author’s note at the end, however, which recounts the real history, begs the question: With such an interesting story at the book’s root, why not tell it instead of making something up? (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8050-7800-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008


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