Usha and the Stolen Sun

Bree Galbraith, illus. by Josée Bisaillon. Owlkids, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77147-276-0
Galbraith’s tale, inspired by a Rumi quote (“Raise your words, not your voice./ It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder”), calls for civil discourse over brash action. South Asian Usha (a name that translates to “dawn” in Sanskrit) and her grandfather live in a town in which a tall brick wall, built when her grandpa was a boy by “the people who made the rules,” blocks out the sun. Bisaillon’s collage-like illustrations, full of movement and expression, are the star here. In them, Usha, wide-eyed and clad in sunshine yellow, exudes courage as she ventures out to bring back the sun, traveling for days through a stark landscape and “a forest of fog” until she reaches the wall. After a number of frantic attempts to bring the wall down—pushing, kicking, climbing, and shouting—Usha takes a quieter approach, telling stories to children on the other side, who come together to help topple the bricks. Though the book seems to suggest courteous behavior as the way to face truly dire circumstances, the message that civil communication can conquer barriers is worthy. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/09/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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