Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Day War Came by Nicola Davies, Rebecca Cobb [Review and Giveaway - 2 copies USA/CANADA]

My thoughts:  I have mixed feelings about this book. It is well written and the illustrations succinctly capture the essence of the emotions of the little girl and the reality that exists for those caught up in the ravages of war.

Essentially, the story is about a normal day breaking and a child going to school. Then the noise of war and the destruction and desolation that envelopes the child begins.

The fear, desolation, desperation of the child who loses so much and who is caught up in the escaping mechanism of the refugees and their lost existence.

While exceptionally well written and illustrated, I have doubts about the use of this story with the young child to whom it might be read (it is a picture book) or to the young readers who might select it to read to themselves. Is the darkness of this story too intense for a child? Of course, a child on the edge of a war torn existence will identify with it and comprehend. But a child in an area that has not been touched by the ravages of war? I think not.

I can see this story expanded and written for the teen or young adult, and then the darkness of the story of enveloping war could be used as a tenable means for them to commiserate with the plight of people in areas torn asunder by war.

Still, perhaps it has a place in a library for young children. I just think care in sharing it with the very young child should be exercised so as not to plant seeds of anxiety.

About the book: A moving, poetic narrative and child-friendly illustrations follow the heartbreaking, ultimately hopeful journey of a little girl who is forced to become a refugee.

The day war came there were flowers on the windowsill and my father sang my baby brother back to sleep.

Imagine if, on an ordinary day, after a morning of studying tadpoles and drawing birds at school, war came to your town and turned it to rubble. Imagine if you lost everything and everyone, and you had to make a dangerous journey all alone. Imagine that there was no welcome at the end, and no room for you to even take a seat at school. And then a child, just like you, gave you something ordinary but so very, very precious. In lyrical, deeply affecting language, Nicola Davies’s text combines with Rebecca Cobb’s expressive illustrations to evoke the experience of a child who sees war take away all that she knows.
GIVEAWAY - 2 Winners
Begins September 14
ENDS October 6 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Candlewick Press, to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone, and are freely given.


  1. I would also like the book Maisy's House

  2. I'd like to have Night Job.

    I'd like you to review The Stuff of Stars.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  3. We homeschool so this might be a good book to teach my kids about war and the refugee crisis, which we haven't really gone over yet. We did have a lesson on what happened on 9/11 with a short reading and video on the subject.

  4. I want the book Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein for my 6 year old grandson and his newborn brother. It's funny and the older boy can read it to the younger.
    Good Rosie by Kate DiCamillo and cartoonist Harry Bliss is a funny story about a shy dog that I'd like you to review.

  5. My children are grown and I let them talk about difficult subjects like war and refugees.

  6. We discuss history and the news in my family, including my children. We have discussed refugees to some degree.

  7. I would like to have Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village. I would like to see Library Lion reviewed on the blog.

  8. 1) Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise
    2) Sam and Dave dig a hole

  9. I would like the book Do You Believe in Unicorns.
    I would like to see a review for The Stuff of Stars.

  10. We haven't discussed war & books like this would be a good introductions to start discussing it.

  11. Your review is a wakeup call that I should have been introducing my grandchildren to the fact that other children in the world face war in their everyday world.

    1. Thank you for this insightful comment, Elaine. In a country and not torn by war and an internal refugee problem, it is easy to hide our heads in the sand and go about our lives blissfully ignorant or ignoring the hard world that exists ourtside our sphere. Even more so the sheltering of our children from that ugly world. We should count our blessings daily and pray without ceasing for little ones whose lives are torn asunder.

  12. A Is for Australian Animals is a book I'd love to share with my granddaughter. It would be a good read to see a review on your site of A First Book of the Sea.


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