Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, my friends! I can’t believe it is the end of March…my round the world adventure is winding down…I’m off to Italy in a couple of days and will be reporting to you via social media from the Bologna Book Fair.
But right now, I’m thrilled to bring you what I think will be one of the star new releases of 2019. I received a copy of this book last month and fell in love with it. Using just the right words, the author, Andria Rosenbaum, managed to write a beautiful story about the horribly difficult topic of the Holocaust and the effect it had on everyone, but especially on children.
HAND IN HAND
Written by Andria Rosenbaum
Illustrated by Maya Shleifer
Published by Apples and Honey Press (2019)
Themes: Loss, Separation, Holocaust
Synopsis: It’s wartime and when their mother goes out in search of food but doesn’t return, two young bunnies are taken to an orphanage where Lieb is adopted, leaving Ruthie behind. As they say their goodbyes, Ruthie rips a picture of them in half and gives one piece to her little brother, telling him she will never forget him.
Opening lines: “Mama had a smile sweeter than strawberries in summer. So did my little brother Leib.”
Why I love this book:
- This is a gentle telling of a brutal story…I don’t know how Andria was able to do that – but I am going to study this book as a mentor text because she found a way to deal with a terrible topic – the Holocaust – in a way that is appropriate for children to hear.
- The genius of the illustrator who depicted the children as bunnies – and the art is amazing – plus the words themselves, because of the various fonts used, are part of the art.
- The language is hauntingly lyrical, yet powerful and the ending is filled with hope.
To connect with the author or find out more about her many wonderful books:
HAND IN HAND, Apples & Honey Press, Behrman House 2019
BIG SISTER, LITTLE MONSTER, Scholastic Press 2017
TRAINS DON’T SLEEP, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017
MEG GOLDBERG ON PARADE, Kar-Ben Publishing 2015
A GRANDMA LIKE YOURS/ A GRANDPA LIKE YOURS, Kar-Ben Publishing, 2006
TWO SWEET PEAS, Bebop Books, Lee & Low Inc., 2006
Make a bunny finger puppet for role playing and discussion
This is an exceptionally easy finger puppet to make…you just need a piece of paper, scissors, glue, markers. Make a few with your child and then enact the story.
Participate in The Butterfly Project: https://www.hmh.org/ed_butterfly1.shtm
Lesson plans for older grades: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/lessons-plans/holocaust-day-of-remembrance-lesson-plans-and-activities/
There is also a curriculum guide for this book on the author’s website: http://www.andriawarmflashrosenbaum.com/events.htm
On the dedication page, the author provides several ideas for parents and teachers – children should be encouraged to ask questions and discuss feelings as the story is read.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a list of various groups of people who, since World War II, have been, at one time or another, systematically eliminated in their countries: https://www.ushmm.org/mobile/confront-genocide/cases-of-genocide
What can we do? Be informed. Create an atmosphere for children of inclusivity and understanding. Teach children that if they see someone being bullied, they should not just stand by. And read books like HAND IN HAND.
Thanks to the generosity of author Andria Rosenbaum, we have a giveaway of a copy of this must-read book. Please leave a comment for your chance to win.
As always, dear friends, I’m grateful for the time you all spend here.