The Map of Good Memories

tr. from Spanish by Jon Brokenbrow. illus. by Zuzanna Celej. 24p. Cuento de Luz. Mar. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9788416147823; Spanish edition ISBN 9788416147786.
Gr 2–5—This deceptively simple tale follows Zoe, a young girl forced by war to flee the city she loves with her family "and take refuge in another country." The night before she leaves, Zoe sits down with a map of the city and marks her favorite places. As she does, she lovingly reminisces about each one, drawing readers into her happiest memories. Zoe then connects the scattered points with a red pencil and forms the letters of her name. This brings her comfort, and as she prepares to leave her home, she knows that she will forever carry her memories with her. The unnamed city appears to be European, and for the most part, the narrative is suspended in time; only an illustration of a movie theater showing The Wizard of Oz (and a quote from Anne Frank in the author's note) confirms that the conflict uprooting Zoe's family is World War II. An author's note explains Nuño's intention to write a book about saying farewell and appreciating the simple pleasures and small joys to be found in life. The tale is also a poignant reflection on the impact of war and what it means to be a refugee. Celej's soft watercolor illustrations are hauntingly beautiful and show, in stark contrast, Zoe's beloved home and a city battered by war.
VERDICT A moving and timeless story that is sure to spark discussions at home and in the classroom; for first purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing