Mary Anne Pardoe
Beautiful illustrations.This is a beautifully authentic book. It contains genuine postcards sent by the author's father during WWII while he was serving in the Philippines. Many of these postcards were illustrated and these illustrations now adorn this beautiful book. Mike Blanc has digitally enhanced these images, sepia for the Grandfather's recollections and coloured for the present. There are also photographs and some of the original line drawings.
Matthew, the young boy in the book, is confused as to where his mother has gone. She is in the Air Force and has been called to active duty. Matthew spends his afternoons with his Grandfather until his Dad can collect him from work. Mathew's Grandfather helps him to deal with his feelings of loss, loneliness and sadness. He shares the letters and postcards that he himself had received from his father during WWII. Together they make a scrap book incorporating the memorabilia that the Grandfather has kept and the e mails and pictures sent by Matthew's mother.
The book explains a few of the reasons for war and suggests that the youngsters of today should strive towards peace and alternative resolution of international disputes.
Targeted at 4 to 8 year olds, this is a book to share, as it will need some additional support from a caring adult.
An invaluable resource for children from military families and their friends.
All proceeds from the sale of this book go to The Fisher House Foundation, providing help for military families.
We all know someone who has been or will be deployed. This is a wonderful book. It reminded me of when my father was deployed when I was a kid. I remember getting his letters and being so excited. I love the photos of actual letters Oelschlager received from her father during his deployment.
Mathew's mom has just been deployed overseas. Mathew begins talking to his grandfather about his feelings regarding his mother being gone. His grandfather tells him about his experiences during World War II and his father being in the war. Mathew's grandfather helps him with his feelings and shares how he got threw his father being gone with the help of letters. This is a great book for families with a loved one deployed.
The Children's War blog
Not long ago, my sister sent me an old family album for safekeeping (she lives in a place that is prone to tornadoes.) Looking through it, I came across a bunch of postcards that had been sent to us when we were kids. Most were from my dad, who travelled a lot. Two were from my mom when she was in hospital having my brother. There were a few from my older sister when she was away, but lots from my grandmother who lived in California and to whom I was very attached. And there were even a few from me, sent from camp or the few trips I took in school. My mother saved each one and looking at them, I remembered how much they meant to us when we received them. Those postcards represented a connection we had to each other that was still intact.
Remembering that sense of connection is what Vanita Oelschlager explores in her picture book Postcards from a War. Published in 2009, when the United States was still at war on two fronts, Iraq and Afghanistan, it is the story of Matthew Brian Jackson, 6, whose mother is in the Air Force and has been deployed overseas to an un-named country where there is an on-going war. Matthew's father works downtown and so, after school, he stays with his grandfather. > READ MORE
Young Adult Books Central
Rita Lorraine Hubbard
It's always difficult when a child is separated from his parents. But when the parent goes to war, fears and emotions can run very high.
Postcards From a War, by Vanita Oelschlager, is a touching book about a young boy whose mother has been deployed to the war overseas. The boy is plagued with sadness and fear for her safety, but his wise grandfather lovingly shares his own remedy for such anxiety. He shows the grandson postcards his own father sent him from the Phillipines, when he was only a child. The grandfather shows how his father's postcards kept the members of their family going strong until his father's safe return.
Author Vanita Oeschlager gifts her readers with a bitter-sweet view of military life, sharing actual postcards she received from her own father during WWII. Illustrator Mike Blanc adds rich colors to his realistic drawings, lending this special book a quiet, comforting overtone.
Oelschlager is Writer-In-Residence for the Literacy Program at The University of Akron. She has written several other books, including, A Tale of Two Daddies, which debuted in April, 2010.
For a wonderful story about military families, separation anxiety and family reunions, be sure to pick up a copy of Postcards From a War.
Bergers Book Reviews
Matthew Brian Jackson’s mom is in the Air Force. She has gone off to fight in the war, and Matthew doesn't understand why she left. But his grandpa shares his own story of what it was like when his father went to fight in World War II.
Author Vanita Oelschlager shares her own father’s pictures, postcards, and letters in this beautiful fictional tribute to a man who proudly served his country. Postcards From a War shows kids what it’s like to live with an absent military parent, and how much those parents still care about their kids even though they’ve had to go away.
This story is told with the utmost respect for the US military, sharing the gratitude the author feels towards their service to our country. And while it doesn't explain why wars happen in the first place, it offers hope that someday today’s generation of kids may find a way to avoid it, and come to more peaceful solutions to the world’s problems.
Based on the author's family, this story opens in the present, as Matthew notes that his mother, who is in the air force, “had to go to another country because there's a war going on.” The boy's grandfather then talks with him about WWII, when his (and Oelschlager's) father, Bauknight, was a soldier stationed in the Philippines. He shows his grandson letters and postcards (which are reproduced throughout the book) that Bauknight sent home, many illustrated with rudimentary drawings of his life overseas and of his children at home. When Matthew's mother e-mails him notes and pictures, he and Grandpa decide to collect the missives from both soldiers in a book. A conversation about why wars occur concludes with Grandpa's pat statement, responding to Matthew's wish for an end to war: “If anyone can make that happen, it will be you and your friends. And you can always count on me to help you.” Blanc's painterly digital illustrations use sepia pictures to depict Grandpa's memories of the WWII era while full-color images represent present day. Heartfelt, but a bit heavy-handed and sentimental. Ages 4–8.