“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

The Tsunami Quilt

Tsunami QuiltWritten by:  Anthony D Fredericks

Illustrated by:  Tammy Yee

Published by:  Sleeping Bear Press 2007

Ages:   6 years and up

Themes:  history, remembrance, love, loss, understanding, multicultural

Opening linesWhen I was little, my grandfather and I went everywhere, always sharing stories and discovering new places.  We were the best of friends.

Synopsis:   From Amazon-  In April 1, 1946 – an enormous tsunami wave strikes Hilo, Hawai’i, causing death and destruction. Even those islanders who are fortunate to have survived find their lives forever altered. Young Kimo loves his grandfather very much – they go everywhere together, sharing island stories and experiences. But there is one story his grandfather has yet to share and that is the reason behind their yearly pilgrimage to Laupahoehoe Point. Here, in silent remembrance, Grandfather places a flower lei atop a stone monument. It is only after his grandfather’s sudden death that Kimo learns the story behind their annual visit and the reason for the sadness that has haunted his grandfather throughout the years. Evocative writing brings this tragic event from Hawaiian history to present-day reality for young readers today.

Why I liked this:  The title alone caught my eye and I was interested in how a topic such as a Tsunami could be covered in a PB.  The story is beautifully written, both factual and moving.  There are many aspects to this story that I love, the relationship between the young boy and his grandfather, the faithful remembrance of a lost love one,  how a tragic event could affect so many people and the effect it has on them years later. An Author’s Note in the back of the book discusses the phenomena of tsunamis. Former schoolteacher Tony Fredericks is an award-winning author of many nature and animal books for children. A frequent presenter at schools and conferences across America, Tony teaches education courses at York College in York, Pennsylvania. Tammy Yee’s soft watercolour tones add to the story’s serious theme yet create a sense of calm that reflects the calm before and after the storm, she lives in Hawaii.

Resources/Findings:  The Author’s Note at the end of the book a helpful tool for teaching words and concepts related to a tsunami.  This book is useful for discussion in class of relationships between grandparents and grandchildren, also discussion about loss of a love one and how It also celebrates life and how life continues with special memories kept alive to honour those who die.

A teacher’s guide is found here to compliment this story….     http://www.gale.cengage.com/pdf/TeachersGuides/tsunami.pdf

Other books on the topic of Tsunamis, (one is unaware of how many books cover this tragic even until you search.) ….        http://www.tsunami.org/storebooks.html

For more books with resources please head on over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors



About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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23 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. It does sound lovely. The relationship to grandparents can be so important.

  2. Another friendship story. What a great Friday! This story sounds pretty unique. I’ve been all caught up in our local disaster in West and have been seeing first hand how these events can affect people. They are very sad events, but they seem to bring out uncapped strengths. I’ll have to check this book out. thanks for sharing!

    • Yes, you bring up a very good point there, Rhythm. It is often in the face of disaster or sadness that we find such special strengths, caring and understanding. Even hopefulness! Thank you, Rhythm.

  3. Apart from the overall theme, this is a piece of history I didn’t know about. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Darshana says:

    Interesting story, thanks for sharing. Sounds like a touching book.

  5. Joanna says:

    This sounds like a multilayered and moving story, Diane!

  6. I’d like to see how the topic has been handled in this book – plus I am a sucker for grandparent stories.

  7. stanleyandkatrina says:

    Sounds like a good book for a tough topic. Thank you for sharing.
    Cool Mom for
    Stanley & Katrina

  8. This looks like a very special book; thank you for showcasing it with your beautiful review!

  9. Catherine Johnson says:

    What a sweet story, Diane. I love that the boy found out more after his grandad passed away.

  10. Hannah Holt says:

    Wow, this sounds like a powerful book for young readers.

  11. Darlene says:

    A good pick, and timely as children hear more about disasters than ever before.

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