A moving picture book autobiography about a family’s resilience and path to healing after the devastation of war.
It's 1945, the final year of World War II. Yukie Kimura is eight years old. She lives on a tiny island with a lighthouse in the north of Japan with her family, and she knows that the fighting that once felt so far away is getting closer.
Mornings spent helping her father tend to the lighthouse and adventuring with her brother are replaced by weeks spent inside, waiting. At some point, Yukie knows, they may be bombed.
Then, it happens. One Sunday, bombs are dropped. The war ends soon after that. Everyone tells Yukie there's nothing to be scared of anymore, but she's not so sure. So she watches and she waits—until a miraculous sight finally allows her to be a kid again.
This is the true story of Yukie Kimura told in her own words, co-created with her son, illustrator Kodo Kimura, and co-written with bestselling Newbery Honor author Steve Sheinkin. Yukie's Island is an honest, thoughtful, and stirring picture book about being a child living through wartime.
A lighthouse keeper's family leads a magical life on a beautiful island until the interruption of war in this luminously illustrated collaboration from the Kimuras, a parent/child team, and Sheinkin. Eight-year-old narrator Yukie enjoys helping in the garden and in the lighthouse. And alongside brother Yoshio, "We were explorers and scientists" combing the island's coastline; "We were sailors too.... It was the only way to get to school." But when a military presence arrives, threats unsettle the family. American planes bomb the island, and though the war ends soon after, it takes a surprising natural event for the children to reconnect with the the natural world. Photorealistic oil paintings from Ko¯do Kimura visualize personal beats throughout this story of wartime endurance. Creators' notes contextualize the story's WWII-era beginnings. Ages 4–8.