Mira and Baku

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A children’s book about a hard topic, this book, Mira and Baku is by Sara Truuvert with pictures by Michelle Theodore.

A children's book about a hard topic, this book, Mira and Baku is by Sara Truuvert with pictures by Michelle Theodore.

Disclosure: I received the book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: With the help of a magical friend, a young girl searches for her missing father in this poignant story set during Japanese Canadian incarceration in World War II.

It’s a week until Mira’s birthday, and she’s getting worried. Where is Papa? He has never missed her birthday before. When Mira’s friend Baku, a creature from Japanese folklore, offers to help, they journey over farmlands and forests, mountains and river mouths, gathering clues to Papa’s whereabouts—clues that echo Mira’s memories and overheard conversations in the camp where she lives with Mama.

Lushly illustrated by up-and-coming illustrator Michelle Theodore, this tender, moving picture book by debut author Sara Truuvert explores the profound impacts of family separation and the different forms comfort can take for a child processing loss.

Further reading on Japanese Canadian and Japanese American internment and a note from the author add to readers’ understanding of this underrepresented period of history, making it an instant classic. For fans of Baseball Saved Us, Mira and Baku is an emotional exploration of the power of imagination and hope in difficult times.

Mira and Baku

This picture book is not like most others. It’s not about happy topics. It’s about a young Japanese Canadian girl who wants her father to be there for her birthday but he won’t be able to be there.

As we read the book we aren’t sure why he won’t be there but we see memories of earlier times before her father was away and the parents are sad. If you read the summary though, or the book you see why he is gone.

The story is cute. Mira is a sweet girl and Baku is her imaginary friend. They travel together looking for her father.

The end of the book gives more explanation as to what is going on. In the author’s note we find out that the book is about the Japanese Canadian/American Internment camps during World War II. This is a topic that isn’t spoken about a lot but it is important to remember choices that were made in our past so we don’t repeat them in the future. The note also has suggested places to look for more information.

This book is for the average child who doesn’t know about this part of history, so that they can be introduced to it in a child like way. It would be a good introductory book to a study on World War II but could be a regular story book as well.

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