This true story of hope, kindness and heroism is a reminder that there are American soldiers who have provided a variety of rescues for people in other countries, a reminder that every child is important, a reminder that one caring person can change the world. It also provides a bit of insight into the effect on innocent people when two countries have been at war. The illustrations are as beautiful, sweet, and historically accurate as the text. This heart-warming story gives children a true living American hero to emulate in the Chocolate Pilot and a child to relate to in Mercedes, all while teaching history. By the way, grown-ups love this book as much as children do – when I read it, I cried!
There are two writing elements that stood out for me as I read this book. First, the book is written in narrative form – it is told like a story. Second, the author uses the actual words of the letters exchanged between Mercedes and the pilot. The author also sets up schema (background knowledge) very effectively for the reader by explaining The Berlin Airlift as a forward and closing it with an epilogue. Your keiki can experiment with these writing elements the next time nonfiction writing is requested!
If you choose to engage in this story of hope, remember our `ohana in Japan. Let’s kōkua and mālama its people – show aloha so that our keiki will naturally emulate and embrace those same actions.