Sorry I’ve been away from the blog for a week. Things from class have been piling up. I fully intend to keep up more during the fall semester.
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow
Written by Amy Lee-Tai
Illustrated by Felicia Hoshino
Here is a poignant telling of the author’s mother’s experience as a child living in an internment camp in Utah for Japanese-Americans during World War II. The protagonist, Mari, can’t find anything joyful to think about in the desolate barracks to which her family has been exiled. Her only solace is the hope held in the sunflower seeds she planted in the desert soil, and in her art class. This is a very sweet book, and is more about the character’s struggles with questions she can’t answer than about a sequence of events. The author’s empathetic storytelling and the illustrator’s multimedia style combine to create a commendable book to teach young children about what people went through during this time in history. Also, the book includes Japanese and English translations in parallel, really making this story a great multicultural resource.
For more information about multicultural children’s books, take a look at Children’s Book Press.