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lunedì, luglio 04, 2016

Postcards from a War by Vanita Oelschlager

cover17138-mediumPostcard from a War is a true little and impressive jewel. Beautiful pictures, beautiful cover, it is a very intelligent book dedicated to children of 4-8 years written for let them understand the power of peace and the one, terrible of war.

Written by Vanita Oelschlager and published by
VanitaBooks, LLC
 it wants to be an homage to her dad. Wilfred Baugknight attended in fact the last Second World War conflict in the Philippines and in the while he sent to all his family wagons of letters and postcards. Times were strained, Wilfred missed his family and the physical contact of a letter from them or a letter written by him to them too important to him. An appointment he couldn't skip.

The main characters of this short children's book, 24 pages is Matthew Brian Jackson, a kid. His mom went to war in recent times. He lives now with his dad but he spends most of his free time with his grand-dad. One day, talking, little Matthew tells to his grand-pa that he miss his mom so badly.

Grand-pa understands his feelings. The kid is surprised, but grand-pa continues telling him that also his dad when young spent time in a very distant place for fighting during the Second World War. Matthew knows it because he studied this war at school.

His dad sent to the Philippines, Matthew's grand-dad remembers the last words pronounced by his dad before to leaving the family for war: "You are now the little man of this house. Be brave!"
There were tears in their eyes and a lot of desperation and hope to see their dad again.

Trains would have accompanied these soldiers in their bases and from their bases to seaports, and then big ships would have brought them in the areas of conflict.

They were three children tells grand-pa (one was Vanita, the author of the book) and no one of them knew what it meant war, synonym of death, sufferance, and destruction.

Grand-pa remembers how tender and nice was his dad with his mom and with him.
He didn't abandon them at themselves.
"Dad thought that if he sent us letters we knew that he was fine."

And so one day grand-pa asks Matthew to join him in the attic, where all the letters and postcards of his dad, now dead, still kept.
The first one sent after just a week from San Francisco where his dad later would have been embarked for reaching the Philippines.

Many many other letters sent from grand-pap's Wilfred accompanied with funny, nice drawings able to let smile his children, bringing some lightness in a sad, heavy atmosphere.

During these long or short letters Wilfred shares with them his impressions about the island, weather, giving to them a lot of informations.

There are questions and interrogative that in a period of war, in particular if a relative leaves from the security of his/her home for going to war: why a war exists? Isn't it possible to live in a world of peace?

Matthew one day asks the opinion at his grand-dad. His grand-dad hopes that countries can sort out diplomatically their problems.

"But so why mom is in war if wars are a bad thing?" asks Matthew.

Grand-dad answers that her mom is there for protecting their country, although he hopes that new generations will be in grade to find other modalities for sorting out potential conflicts avoiding the use of guns.

What to do in the while? Well, grand-dad suggests to ask to Matthew's mom of sending him some letters for staying in touch.
cover17138-mediumMatthew thinks it's too old-fashioned. "We have e-mails, cell phones now, grand-dad..."

Grand-dad doesn't lose hope and suggests him of saving all his mom's e-mails, then. With the letters of his dad Wilfred and the one of Matthew's mom they can make a book. A book of their relatives in war.

Hoping always that peace can prevails against war, horror and hostility.

I thank Netgalley.com.

Anna Maria Polidori

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