The Peace Tree from Hiroshima -- Multicultural Monday Book Review

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this book free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. This post also contains Affiliate links for Little Passports where I will receive a nominal fee if you purchase through it.

Back in May we explored Japan as part of Global Learning for Kids. The book I am reviewing today would have fit perfectly in our exploration and especially when we explored a bit about bonsai. However it was not out yet and in fact is not out yet. It is being released July 14, 2015. The Peace Tree from Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story by Sandra Moore and illustrated by Kazumi Wilds is a wonderful true story that brings hope of peace to the world. After if a little bonsai tree that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima can be gifted to the country that dropped the bomb, doesn't it seem possible to solve all differences.

The story is about a tree and it is narrated by the tree. The baby tree was found on the island of Miyajima about four hundred years ago. A man named Itaro dug up the baby white pine tree and brought it home. He sculpted it into a miniature bonsai and named it Miyajima after the place he found it. The tree was passed from father to son for many generations. At some point the family moved to Hiroshima and the bonsai trees were kept on the porch. In 1945 an atomic bomb exploded two miles from the family's house. Eventually as the family healed and life began to get back to normal Masaru returned to caring for the bonsai trees. Thirty years later Masaru decided to donate Miyajima as one of the fifty bonsai trees being gifted to the United States as part of the celebration of their two hundred years of independence. This tree that survived the United States bombing Hiroshima came to stay at the United States in Washington, D.C. 
Japanese White Pine, 1625-May 29, 2011 - Stierch
Miyajima By Sarah Stierch (Own work) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The tree is in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the United States National Aboretum and is often referred to as the Yamaki Pine after Masaru Yamaki who donated it. The Yamaki family trained this tree from 1625 until 1976. This tree has become a sign of peace between the United States and Japan. Masaru has visited his beloved tree and commented on how happy it seems in Washington. For more of the story about the tree and its survival of the bomb at Hiroshima with pictures of it and other trees after the bombing and of Masaru Yamaki, check out the Hiroshima Survivor page at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.

The book is based on the true story but has taken some liberties to make the story flow. It is such a lovely story and leaves the reader with a good feeling. It really helps rekindle the hope and possibility of world peace in me. The illustrations are beautiful and it makes me want to take a trip down to Washington to see this beautiful tree. I hope you will go out and read this book once it is available to the public. It is one that should not be missed!

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