What Rosa Brought
November 20, 2023 7:41 AM   Subscribe

What Rosa Brought
When my kids were ready to begin learning about the Holocaust, but not to face its full horror, I told them their grandmother's story. My mom was a little girl in Vienna when the Nazis marched in. She was present for the first steps that they took against the Austrian Jews. Miraculously, she and her parents escaped in 1939. It’s not a happy story, but it's a story whose sadness a child can wrap their head around, and I thought it might be helpful for other parents who are ready to begin this conversation. So, I put it in a picture book. It was published last week, and I'm prouder of it than anything else I've written. It got starred reviews in Kirkus and Booklist.

At age four, my mom wasn't taking notes, but I've tried to make the story as accurate as I can. I based it on family stories, my mom's memories, and historical research, including documents I found through AskMe.

The art is by Eliza Wheeler, who did an incredible job. Here's an Instagram post comparing one of my old family photographs to Eliza's illustrations.
Role: author
posted by yankeefog (3 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

This looks beautiful. Thank you for writing it. My child isn't ready for this conversation, but I'm getting a copy for a few years down the line when he will be.
posted by bwerdmuller at 5:34 PM on November 20, 2023 [1 favorite]

Wow. Gorgeous art.

And I wanted to let you know - and offer the idea to others who might do the same - that I've submitted your book as a suggested purchase for my local library system.

Based on the number of books my grandchild has checked out that also fit the "child-friendly-ish depiction of diverse historical events that are hard to talk to children about" theme, your book would fit right in.
posted by stormyteal at 10:25 AM on November 24, 2023 [2 favorites]

stormyteal, I will do it, too!

Stories are the threads that tie people to each other, and connect generations through time. Someone's memory can be a blessing by being a lesson: your book is a beautiful gift forward and backwards through the ages.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:30 PM on November 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

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