Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: The Day the War Came by Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb


This is one of those books that made me go "Ohhh!" at the end, then immediately hand it to my coworker, so she could cry, too!

The day war came there were flowers on the windowsill and my father sang my baby brother back to sleep.

Imagine if, on an ordinary day, after a morning of studying tadpoles and drawing birds at school, war came to your town and turned it to rubble. Imagine if you lost everything and everyone, and you had to make a dangerous journey all alone. Imagine that there was no welcome at the end, and no room for you to even take a seat at school. And then a child, just like you, gave you something ordinary but so very, very precious. In lyrical, deeply affecting language, Nicola Davies’s text combines with Rebecca Cobb’s expressive illustrations to evoke the experience of a child who sees war take away all that she knows.

When your child starts hard asking questions about things they see or hear on the news, this is the book you want to have on hand to help you find the words. Both people and locations in these illustrations could be anyone, anywhere, making it easier for children to relate. The spare text is from the perspective of the child, and adults' faces are often not even shown. Some horrors are hinted at, allowing adults to delve into them more or just let them pass for now (...then up a beach where shoes lay empty in the sand...)

Just when it seems there is no room for hope, it comes from another child, and then other children. And that is, indeed, where our hope lies - that our children will grow to see a need, and to respond instinctively in the simplest ways. A sad but beautiful volume that deserves a place in every library.

No comments:

Post a Comment