cbr14bingo Time Level 2
Picture book are interesting. If you have a fiction story, well, that can go into any format (picture book, novel, verse). But if you have a non-fiction story or based on a true story and/or event, a picture book is not always my “go to” thought for a subject. After all, picture books are usually aimed at ages five to eight, therefore, how do you talk about the displacement of Indian and Pakistani peoples when the two peoples have been forced by the British government to be partitioned? How do you talk about a historical time that was less than pleasant to say the least?
In The Moon from Dehradun: A Story of Partition Shirin Shamsi talks about it in perfectly appropriate text and for, frankly, all ages (including this adult). People have written hundreds of paged books on the subject. But in less than 100, Shamsi tells us how a young girl leaves her favorite doll behind when her family is forced to flee from India to Pakistan. The emotions she faces are relatable and even, a little funny, due to no matter how desperate the situation she still finds a way to blame her little brother for the issues she is facing without her doll, instead of blaming the fact they had to flee without any warning. She is still a child, facing adult issues but with the innocence and lack of understanding of the implications of things.
What can I say about Tarun Lak and their illustrations? Nothing about them, as I do not know them, but the illustrations are amazing. They are colorful, perfectly toned, detailed to being busy, but not overwhelming, just there to show you the people, places and emotions of the time and events. They have an overall hopefulness as we follow our family through their journey.
This is not for all children as it is not an easy read, lacks the “car chase” action, and is not even punny-funny. It would work well in a classroom, hard for a read-aloud, but one that probably should be someone incorporated into the curriculum. Know your child audience, but of course, adults can appreciate, too.