by Fran Manushkin

War in a Picture Book?

Last year when I was teaching children’s book writing in Tirana, Albania, a writer from Kosovo asked me how I would deal with war in a picture book. I replied that I wouldn’t deal with it. I think children under stress need stories that emphasize close family relationships, stories with humor, and with characters who exercise some control over their lives. We cannot protect children from reality, but we can certainly give them stories that offer hope and comfort. Indeed, my Albanian students responded with the greatest enthusiasm to such classic stories of reassurance as Goodnight, Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Books can be a haven for children, and for the youngest child, I think that is one of their greatest functions.

Fran Manushkin was a children’s book editor at Harper & Row and Random House, and is the author of over 30 books for children, including Daughters of Fire: Heroines of the Bible, and Miriam ‘s Cup: A Passover Story. She teaches and mentors children’s book writers and illustrators for the Open Society Institute.

How Books Tell the World’s Bad News to Children

The articles in this special section:

Beware Sentimental Tripe

by Jane Yolen

Truth Soothes

by Susan Rich

Heroines Overcome their Demons

by Gail Carson Levine

Bad News from the Start

by Ellen Handler Spitz

Kaddish as Magical Incantation

by Susie Morgenstern

Cry for Someone Else

by Esther Rudomin Hautzig

History Helps

by Karen B.Winnick

Struggles of Underdogs

by Sonya Sones

No Brainwashing

by Yehudit Kafri

Hope After the Holocaust

by Ruth Minsky Sender

Pain Is a Teacher

by Julius Lester

Forget Bibliotherapy

by Johanna Hurwitz

War in a Picture Book?

by Fran Manushkin

Discovering Hatred

by Leslea Newman

Between Hopes and Reality

by Etgar Keret

The Power of Anger

by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso