WAR BOY: A Country Childhood by Michael Foreman
Kirkus Star

WAR BOY: A Country Childhood

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Opening with a startling attention grabber--being awakened by an incendiary bomb that bounces between his bed and his mother's before it's deflected into the grate to explode up the chimney--Foreman reminisces about his WW II experiences on the Suffolk coast, just across the Channel from the enemy. Born in 1938, he was a toddler (as pictured in an endearing title-page photo) when the war began. His widowed mother kept a village shop frequented by the military; after a halfhearted attempt to send his brother to a safer place, she kept the family together. Foreman describes both daily life and extraordinary wartime incidents in fascinating detail, complementing his understated text with splendidly evocative watercolors and drawings. The fiery glow of the village church burning against a night sky; a little old lady on a bicycle sharing the street with a tank; rampant blooms amid rabble, grown from seeds displaced by bombing; childish high jinks and anxious races to shelters; flat, watery farmland, green and peaceful in the sun--each is rendered with insight and skill. Like Bill Poet's autobiography (1989, Caldecott Honor Book): a perfect blend of the verbal and pictorial to appeal to a wide age range.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Page count: 92pp
Publisher: Arcade--dist. by Little Brown