The Button War

Patryk and Jurek are as much friends as rivals in the small Russian-occupied Polish village where they live. When, in August 1914, Patryk finds an old button on the forest floor, Jurek becomes wildly jealous. Not long after, World War I comes to Poland, bringing one invading army after another to the village. Jurek devises an exciting dare among the seven boys in their pack: whoever steals the best military button will be Button King. The boys agree. The contest is on. The competition escalates from stealing uniform buttons on a wash line to looting the bodies of dead soldiers to setting up an ambush. Leading the charge is Jurek, who will do anything to be Button King. It’s only Patryk who tries to stop Jurek’s increasingly dangerous game before it leads to deadly consequences.

The Little Boy Star: An Allegory Of The Holocaust

A young Jewish boy is given a star to wear. At first he is proud of the decoration, but soon finds the star overshadowing him no one sees the boy, only the star. Lonely, frightened, and helpless, he watches as other star-wearers are led away into the night. This affecting allegory, rich with symbolism, educates children about the events of the Holocaust in a way that young minds can easily grasp.

How the Leopard Got His Claws

In the beginning, all the animals lived as friends.  The leopard, their king was strong but gentle and wise.  Only the dog had sharp teeth, and only the dog scoffed at the animals plan to build a common shelter for gathering out of the rain.  but when the dog was flooded out of his own cave, he attacked the leopard and took over as king.  It was only then that the leopard returned with a new roar, sharp claws, and shining teeth, life for the animals would never be the same.

In this riveting fable for young readers, Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, evokes themes of liberation and justice that echo his novels about post-colonial Africa.  Glowing with vibrant color, Mary GrandPre’s expressive and action-filled paintings bring this unforgettable tale dramatically to life.

The Island

Poignant and chilling, this allegory is an astonishing, powerful, and timely story about refugees, xenophobia, racism, multiculturalism, social politics, and human rights. When the people of an island find a man sitting on their shore, they immediately reject him because he is different. Fearful to the point of delusional paranoia, the islanders lock him in a goat pen, refuse him work, and feed him scraps they would normally feed a pig. As their fears progress into hatred, they force him into the sea.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 2