When Ba sees the last emperor of Vietnam weep on the day of his abdication, she sneaks into the palace gardens and takes one precious thing: a lotus seed. The seed is small enough to travel with her to the strange new land of tall steel buildings that becomes her new home: America. Once there, Ba keeps the seed close to her as a memory of the land of her birth as she grows, marries, and eventually raises children and then grandchildren.
But one day, one of Ba's grandsons takes the seed and plants it in a pool of mud near their home. Ba is inconsolable -- until the next spring, when a lotus grows and blossoms. And when the flower goes to seed, Ba has a new memory of Vietnam to keep close to her heart...and a gift to pass on to future generations of her family. This exquisite book also provides endnotes about the history of the Vietnam conflict.
"The spare simplicity of Garland's tale about remembering one's birthplace is richly amplified by Kiuchi's arresting, light-filled paintings -- his debut -- awash with burnished gold and greens. As elegant as the lotus flower itself, the book's design includes subtle white borders on cream paper that frame both the poetic text and the opposing portrait-like illustrations....a moving and polished offering." -- Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||6 - 9|
|Publication Date||Feb 15, 1997|