Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Rose Blanche

Rose Blanche

Roberto Innocenti, Christopher Gallaz
Illustrator:  Roberto Innocenti 
Picture Book
For ages 8 and up
Creative Editions, 1985   ISBN: 978-0898123852

Rose Blanche lives in Germany. Many things in her country have changed in the last few years and now trucks rumble past her home and her school full of soldiers going off to some unknown place. All the excitement thrills the little girl and her friends and then something happens which changes everything. One day Rose Blanche sees a little boy jump out of the back of one of the trucks. She sees that he is trying to run away and she cannot help wondering what the boy is running away from.

After the boy is caught and returned to the truck Rose Blanche decides to follow the truck to see where it is taking the little boy. What she finds is a terrible place where men, women and children stand in the cold on the other side of a tall barbed wire fence.

Rose Blanche begins her own private battle to help the people behind the fence, the people who wear striped clothes and have yellow stars pinned to their chests. She gives them as much food as she can, often going hungry herself.

In this beautiful and often hauntingly lovely picture book the authors have created a story which is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Rose Blanche found her own way to fight against the cruelty of the Nazi regime, and she was one of its many casualties. This is a moving tribute to all those young Germans who fought against what they knew was wrong in their world; many of them lost their lives in the battle.