No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War

by Anita Lobel

Caldecott-award-winning illustrator Anita Lobel writes about "a time from when I... read more

Caldecott-award-winning illustrator Anita Lobel writes about "a time from when I have very few pretty pictures to remember." Born in Krakow in 1934, Lobel was five when the German army invaded Poland in 1939 and began rounding up the city's Jewish population. Anita and her brother escaped the city with their beloved Catholic nanny, Niania, and spent much of the war moving from place to place with er, posing as her children. For Anita, who had dark, heavy features the charade was devastating. "Every time I looked at myself in the mirror, all I could think was: Jew, Jew. Ugly, obvious jew girl." Eventually captured, she was held first in Plaszów and then in Ravensbrück before being liberated in 1945. Seriously ill with tuberculosis, Anita was taken to Sweden to recuperate, and there she was reunited with her brother and parents, all of who had, miraculously, survived. This account of Anita's expeiences during world War II and in the months and years immediately following is significant not only as an addition to the important body of literature that bears witness to the tragic events of the time but also as a profile of an artist who has gone on to create images that bring pleasure to children. (Ages 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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