War by José Jorge Letria

Published by Greystone Kids

War: Letria, Jose Jorge, Letria, André: 9781771647267: Amazon.com: Books
War – Greystone Books Ltd.

Summary:  “War spreads through the day like a whispered, swift disease.”  The opening pages of this book show spiders, snakes, and a large black bird traveling through a landscape until they land on a uniformed man, alone in a room, studying a large map and selecting a knight’s helmet before he throws a torch on a huge pile of books.  Planes and soldiers gather in armies before bombs are dropped on cities and tanks roll in.  The final pages show a destroyed city and large spiders moving in with the sentence, “War is silence.”  Originally published in Portugal. 64 pages; grades 4 and up.

Pros:  The watercolor illustrations done grays, blacks, and military drabs provide haunting images of the hatred and destruction of war.  Combined with spare but powerful text, this would be an effective way to begin a discussion of war at the upper elementary, middle school or even high school level.

Cons:  I will definitely not be putting this in the picture book section of my library.  It looks like a picture book, but I kept imagining some kindergartener bringing it home to be read as a bedtime story.

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