A Bowl Full of Peace

Caren Stelson, illus. by Akira Kusaka. Carolrhoda, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5415-2148-3
Stelson (Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story) opens this picture book biography of a Japanese peace activist before the start of WWII. Kusaka, making his U.S. debut, shows Sachiko’s family of seven gathered around the table to eat from a bowl that belonged to her grandmother. “Itadakimasu,” they intone, expressing gratitude for their food. The war brings air raids, but the cataclysm that shakes Nagasaki in early August is different; the city and everything it holds is incinerated, and Sachiko’s little brother, Toshi, is immediately killed. Poisoned by radiation, Sachiko’s siblings and parents sicken and die one by one. Her grandmother’s bowl miraculously survives, recovered intact from the ruins of their house. Each year in August, Sachiko fills it with ice to remember her family’s thirst and suffering. At last, she resolves to tell their story: “The world must know that such a bomb can never be used again.” The soft edges of Kusaka’s digital artwork mimic pastel images and show the catastrophe and its aftermath directly. The story may well spur discussion about war, but it will require careful context-setting to answer questions about the effects of nuclear war and radiation. Ages 6–11. Author’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 40 pages - 978-1-5415-8219-4
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