The Tsunami Quilt
Written 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 lines: When 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
It does sound lovely. The relationship to grandparents can be so important.
It is a very heartfelt story and I love the relationship they have. Thanks for commenting.
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.
Apart from the overall theme, this is a piece of history I didn’t know about. Thanks for sharing this.
Hi Wendy. It is surprising what we learn when reviewing picture books, isn’t it. I too was unaware of this particular event. Your welcome.
Interesting story, thanks for sharing. Sounds like a touching book.
Hi Darshana, nice to see you here. Yes it is a very moving story, I have a soft spot for these sort. Thanks for commenting.
This sounds like a multilayered and moving story, Diane!
Yes Joanna, it is. Glad you like it. Thank you.
I’d like to see how the topic has been handled in this book – plus I am a sucker for grandparent stories.
So am I, a sucker for these type of stories, Julie. I think you will like it very much.
Sounds like a good book for a tough topic. Thank you for sharing.
Cool Mom for
Stanley & Katrina
Your very welcome Stanley and Katrina. Nice to see you here. Do stay awhile and take a look round. Thanks for your comment.
This looks like a very special book; thank you for showcasing it with your beautiful review!
Thank you very much for your lovely comment, Barbara. It is special!
What a sweet story, Diane. I love that the boy found out more after his grandad passed away.
Thank you CAtherine, it is lovely and I too am glad he found out.
Wow, this sounds like a powerful book for young readers.
Hi Hannah, yes it has a number of messages in this. Interesting!
A good pick, and timely as children hear more about disasters than ever before.
Thank you Darlene, glad you like this. Enjoy!