Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? This is a powerfully moving story of war and resilience and the power of words, history and love. The book opens with “When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned.” A young boy named Peter finds that one book has survived because his father had taken it home. Peter’s father tells him that this book is a treasure as it tells the story of their people. When Peter and his father become refugees, the book travels with them in an iron box for protection. Sadly, Peter’s father dies, but Peter carries on with the heavy box, even leaving his suitcase behind, until finally he can carry it no longer. Peter buries it under a tree outside a village. Years pass, until one day Peter returns to dig up the treasure and return it to the new library that has been built in the city where Peter and his father had lived. The illustrations in tones of blue, grey and brown perfectly complement the story. Rendered in pen, watercolor and collage, the illustrations incorporate pages of text in various languages. The universality of war is depicted as there is never mention of a specific war, conflict or country. This is one to share with older readers who will understand the vision of hope.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is one that should be shared one on one or in a classroom.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture Book
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 7/21/17