Harcourt | January 1, 2005
This beautiful picture book begins with the epigram: "In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.' - Alia Muhammad Baker" A lovely way to begin, I think.
"Alia is the librarian of Basra," the text starts. The brightly colored illustrations show a woman with her head covered with an armful of books making her way down a street. The library was a meeting place--a happy place, until the war came. The librarian takes matters into her own hands to save the books when the governor refuses to move them somewhere safe. Soon, war is ravaging through Basra and the library is destroyed. But not until Alia has saved all the books.
The book explains how Alia dreams of peace while she waits for a time when the books can return to the library again and it ends without resolution. She stands, a lone figure as the book began, amongst the stacks of books, safely kept away from war until a time the library can be rebuilt.
|This is not a real spread in the book, but two pages from separate spreads. I like them together.|
This book is beautiful and worth your time. Enjoy it with a child and have a discussion about books, the universal love of them, and discuss what war can do. This book can help you with those topics and more.