By Anne Renaud and Illustrated by Richard Rudnicki
Expected March 13, 2018
Praise for "Fania's Heart"
"Fania’s Heart is a simply told nonfiction account, effectively delivered to teach children that people can have hope, even in the most dire circumstances.... The history of these terrible events is a lot to absorb, but it’s an important story that echoes today in the experiences of many of the refugee children who have arrived in Canada from war torn countries.... Fania’s Heart joins the list of valuable biographies that should be found in school and classroom libraries everywhere. Highly recommended." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials
Unwrapping some wonderful illustrations
About the book
This bittersweet book is a true story.
Sorale, a ten-year-old girl is rummaging through her mother's bedroom drawers and stumbles upon a very curious object. She gently picks it up and realizes it is a tiny heart-shaped book. When she opens it she finds the pages unfold like petals on a flower. Inscribed on each page are handwritten words of different languages that she is unable to read or decifier.
She's never seen this little book before and she wonders why her mother has never shown it to her. She takes it straightway to her mother who painfully relates the sad story behind this beautiful, treasured keepsake.
"Fania's Heart" is about a valued gift (a little book) that was designed and created for Fania while she was held in Auschwitz.
She relates to her daughter the hardships and trials she faced while there and the coveted friendships she made with the other female prisoners. It was her birthday and those beloved women took it upon themselves (perhaps even sacrificing their own lives if caught by the guards) and with unbelievable courage, fierce loyalty to one another, and unconditional love they crafted a birthday card just for her. On each petal of the book they wrote in their own language birthday wishes for their friend.
Her mother reveals with mixed emotions her deep, deep sadness of being held captive and the cruelty she sustained while in the prisoner-of-war camp. She then relates the euphoria and happiness everyone felt when she receives that precious birthday card from her fellow-inmates and true friends.
The original "Fania's heart" is homed now in the Montreal Holocaust Museum and the author has added the historical details of the little book and photos to authenticate the source. It is a heartfelt story and one that would serve well in classrooms and libraries everywhere. I highly recommend this book.
Storywraps Rating - 5 +++ HUGS!!!!!
Anne Renaud has a penchant for stories that have a historical slant. She has written on the topics of Pier 21, the Empress of Ireland, and the Canadian Tulip Festival. She has written several children’s picture books, in both English and French, including Mousseline vole au vent, Missuk’s Snow Geese, Amande Lavande, Les pierres d’Emma, and Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament. Anne lives in Westmount, Québec.
About the illustrator
Richard Rudnicki is an award-winning picture book illustrator, an author, and a painter. Most of his picture books are about subjects from Canadian history. He conducts workshops in painting, drawing, and illustration, gives illustrated talks, and takes private students. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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