Usha and the Stolen Sun by Bree Galbraith and illustrated by Josée Bisaillon is one of those strong commentary children’s books that takes an incredibly important issue and addresses it with compassion. It’s hard to read a story about a border wall and it taking away something vital to a group of people without thinking of the state of America today. And the injustice, the inhumanity of it all is right there in this book’s title: the stolen sun.
This book begins with Usha and her grandfather. He tells her stories of the sun, what life had been like once upon a time before the big wall that blocks it went up. Usha listens attentively, leaning many things in these moments. She begins to yearn for the sun for her grandfather, but also for herself. And she develops an understanding that the wall took it from him and their people. So, strong and determined Usha sets off to return the sun to their world.
When she arrives at the wall she begins by attacking it, kicking and screaming. Anger at what has been taken and her inability to get it back is clear in how she addresses the problem initially. But then she remembers her grandfather and tries a different approach. She tells the wall stories, she sings to it. She relays to the wall everything her grandfather told her.
And on the other side, someone is listening.
Usha and the Stolen Sun is a wonderfully written and illustrated children’s book about compassion and humanity. It’s something that this upcoming generation of children desperately need in their lives as they grow surrounded by the harmful vitriol that has come out in recent years past. There is no question that this is an excellent children’s book and one I would be proud to have on my shelf.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.