Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Silver Path

a picture book by Christine Harris, illustrated by Helen Ong

Niko and Penny are pen pals on opposite ends of the world. Just like their locations, their lifestyles are very different. Penny lives in a nice, peaceful world, with a big garden to play in with her dog, Scruff. Niko lives in a world destroyed by war. Forced to flee from their village, Niko and his mother live in a hotel that houses refugees.

In his letter to Penny, Niko writes of his hopes that one day he and his family will be free to return to their village, and be happy again. He describes the view from the balcony of the hotel at night. "When the night comes, the moon builds a silver path over the sea, going all the way from where I am to where you are, Penny. I close my eyes and imagine I am running... to meet you."

The Silver Path, by Christine Harris, is a moving story that speaks of an unidentified setting and conflict, the innocent people (children especially) who are its victims, and the everlasting hope for a better and happier life. The story is told beautifully, not only by the words, but by the stirring illustrations by Helen Ong. This is a story that will make young readers aware of the hardships of war. It will help them relate, on their level, conflicts and tragedies like those going on in the world today.

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