Cover Image: A Bowl Full of Peace

A Bowl Full of Peace

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A Bowl Full of Peace by Caren Stelson is a profound true story about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945. This story is simple in prose and haunting in content. The contrast of delicate illustration with desolation and sadness are so integral to this story of loss and ultimate hope. Although sensitive young children would find this story too difficult if they don't know about war and death, it's still a must read for everyone at some point in their lives. I'm grateful to Caren Stelson for bringing this story to the pages, and for Sachiko's courage to tell her story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. I've never read a book about the bombing of Japan presented as a picture book. First, the story on its own is poignant and compelling. The illustrations only magnify the brilliance of this book. I am always looking for picture books to use with older students and THIS WILL BE ONE THAT I BUY specifically for my 4th to 8th graders.
Was this review helpful?
This is a beautiful and profound story. It is never too young to start teaching children about history and how we must all strive for peace.
Was this review helpful?
I requested and received an e-ARC of this book from NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

Wow!  This true story about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki in 1945 is both beautiful and haunting.  Sachiko has been through so much pain and yet she still holds out hope that we can learn and be better.  Everyone should read this book.

#ABowlFullofPeace #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
I cannot recommend this true story of the bombing of Nagasaki and its impact on one small girl and her family enough. I was in tears at the sheer beauty of the illustrations and the horror of what happened. These topics are difficult to approach with young children, and this gives a good gateway for parents or teachers to introduce them. It doesn't shield children from the horrors but gives information on a level they can process and understand.
Was this review helpful?
A Bowl Full of Peace by Caren Stelson is such an important book! Stelson tells the true story of Sachiko and her family as they struggle through the consequences of the dropping of a nuclear bomb on their city. I feel that it is important to address such serious topics in an appropriate way with young children and this book does that really well. It talks about death and injury but it does not dwell on it. You can understand the seriousness of it without worrying about it traumatizing a child. I also like the illustrations by Akira Kusaka because while they are striking and engaging, they are not too bright and fun to distract from the story. There is further suggested reading about this topic at the end of the book as well.
Was this review helpful?
‘A Bowl Full of Peace’ is a heartbreaking, beautiful story about the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.  The prose and illustrations are gorgeous in a delicate way.  The story details the life of a family in Japan during World War II and the aftermath of the atomic bomb that killed so many.  It is ultimately a hopeful story about family and traditions.  It is a magnificent book that would be perfect to teach children about the realities of war and the importance of family.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for providing an ARC of this book.
Was this review helpful?
A powerful, moving, and important book about the devastating effects of nuclear war on the planet and it's survivors. A must-read for engendering empathy.
Was this review helpful?
When Japan suffered Atomic explosions on 6 and 9 August, 1945; it was clear that effects of attack were deep and lasting.
It killed approx 225000 in 4 days and many more slowly.
It killed bodies but souls remained.
Few things too fragile to bear small fall; survived like grandmother's feeding bowl.
Bowl which connected family at dinner and reminded them of each other; year after year.
As one by one members of family die because of radiation, this bowl preserved their memories.
AICN received novel peace prize recently and we need solid efforts to prevent such happenings again.
A touching story ( true) with excellent artwork and excellent writing.
Thanks netgalley and publisher for review.
Was this review helpful?
The prose is striking, and the artwork fitting.  The entirety of the book is sad, touching, and important, and should be read by everyone.
Was this review helpful?
This was a short and well-illustrated (by Kusaka) picture-book about a family which (kind of) survived the H-bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on 9th August 1945. I say 'kind of', because the family really didn't, and today only one of them remains. The rest of them died either in the initial explosion or from radiation which spread afterwards and made people sick before anyone fully-realized what it was or what it could do.

There are many questions surrounding that war and the bombs. People make much of the death toll those two bombs wreaked which was, with the blast and the radiation, perhaps a quarter million - about the same number that died in the St Stephen's Tsunami of 2004. The thing is that without the bombs, the toll was already astronomical. To put it in perspective, the Battle of Stalingrad alone killed two million people!

Yes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were largely civilian populations not directly involved in fighting (although there were military bases and munitions factories there), so there is a difference, and people can argue that it was necessary because the toll of taking Japan by traditional means was going to be high, but others can argue equally well that Japan did not need to be taken. It could have been blockaded and forced to surrender with no loss of allied life. Alternatively, a demonstration of the bomb's devastative power could have been made over an unpopulated area. That and the threat of dropping bombs on populated areas would have impressed the war leadership of Japan sufficiently without killing innocent civilians.

And yes, it's easy with the distance of three-quarters of a century, to pretend to know what was best back then; but let's not forget that a Christian country, far from turning the other cheek, is still the only nation on Earth to have used atomic bombs in war, and those two bombs back then killed more civilians than all the acts of Islamic terrorism since.

But this book isn't interested in politics because it's a very personal story of loss: of a family of children playing outdoors just a half mile from the epicenter, all but one of which miraculously survived the initial blast. It's about a family that, even though they were evacuated from the area immediately afterwards, still succumbed one-by-one to the sickness of the black rain.

Only one of them, Sachiko Yasui, survived, and now she opens the eyes of others to the horror of nuclear war. It's not just that, but all war which must stop, but nuclear war is the most terrifying act of hostility that we can do to each other and to the planet, and this story handily explains why.
Was this review helpful?
A really intense and sorrowful story that is important to pass along to younger generations. The artwork was subtle but beautiful.
Was this review helpful?
Gut wrenching. Such an important story, which has been beautifully illustrated and told in simple terms, easily understood by children. Obviously the subject matter is extremely sensitive, so parents/guardians must decide if this is an appropriate book for their own children. It has not been sugar coated, it freely speaks of the horrors this family, and many others, endured.
Was this review helpful?
I received a free digital copy of this book through NetGalley. A good companion to the biography to dive deeper into the story.
Was this review helpful?
Lately I have been reading a lot of books that cover this period as an adult, so I thought it was brilliant when I saw that this book, A Bowl Full of Peace has been written with the target audience being children.

When I was at school I was not taught about the second World War and don't agree with this at all - how will we ensure we never make the same mistakes again if these topics are not taught - and this is also one of the points that the book makes towards the end.

The story is beautifully told and the images are perfect, it is a brilliant way to cover the subject and it is one I will definitely be reading to Ava when she is a little older and can understand a bit more.

She is still only young but I will be making sure that she knows about what happened and this book would be an ideal starting point when talking about what happened in Japan, and why it happened, the impact from the bomb and how the fall out from this that affected the young and old for many, many years to come. The book is quite an emotional read too - it is 5 stars from me for this one - very highly recommended!!
Was this review helpful?
This miracle story must be shared! Not only did Grandmother's bowl survive the bombing of Nagasaki but Sachiko survived the death of her entire family to tell her story with hope for peace. Grandmother's bowl brought the family together for meals and now it can bring others together with its story. The author's note and Illustrator's insight provided a powerful conclusion for why this story had to be told.
Was this review helpful?
A Bowl Full of Peace is the beautiful and heart-wrenching story of Sachiko Yasuo, who was six years old when she survived the bombing of Nagasaki. Her family always gathered around her grandmother's bowl and gratefully ate their meals while saying, "Itadakimasu," (humbly receive). The bowl miraculously also survived the bombing unscathed. I loved the simply and poetically told story, but I challenge any adult reader to read this moving story without crying or tearing up. An important message of peace in troubling times.
Was this review helpful?
I have a shelf in my personal library, a shelf of about war, where I have about five or six books about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

The most moving ones are the ones written by people who were actually there.

Many of the people who were there, have since died off, so I was surprised to find a new book about a new experience of the bombing.

This is a very moving, straight forward telling of what happened when the bomb dropped and slowly, one by one, took everyone in a little girls family, until she was the only one that remained. Her, and her grandmother's bowl, which had somehow survived the bombing, without being damaged.

To her, it was a symbol of peace, and she chose to show it to school children and tell about what it was like.

Sweet, simple picture book. The stories are stark, but then so was life after the bombing.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A very personal story which I can,t and won,t judge obviously, but as a book this one didn't get to me at all. Sorry, but the illustrations were not really good and the story was slow, and not so captivating for children. I like the message and the meaning behind it all, but the way to pass it on didn't work in my opinion.
Was this review helpful?