Tots to Teens
IT'S funny how one sometimes "avoids" reading a book for no reason other than it's not yet the right time to read it. I know other avid readers will know what I'm talking about. It's what keeps one buying books although dozens sit, unread, on one's shelves. One is forever in pursuit of the perfect read - the trouble is one keeps recognising potential perfect reads, future perfect reads. It's impossible to tell which book will keep you riveted on any given day until it actually does.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
(Puffin Books, 192 pages, ISBN: 978-0142414088) by Judith Kerr is a
book that I have "avoided" for years. I love Kerr's picture
books, but somehow never felt inclined to pick the book up. I didn't
even see it as a "potential" good read! Goodness, was I wrong.
I received Pink Rabbit in the post a couple of weeks ago and, just like that, knew that the right time to read it had come. As I was going away to East Malaysia for a few days, I packed it to read on the trip and once I started reading I could not put it down.
The book is about Anna, a little girl
who lives in Berlin, Germany with her parents and brother, Max. It's
the 1930s and the elections are around the corner. Hitler's party might
win and if it does, it will probably make things very difficult for
Germany's Jewish community. Anna's father is Jewish and so, it's decided
that he should go to Switzerland where he will be safe. If the Nazi
party wins the elections, the rest of the family will follow.
This is not the family's only move. They go on to Paris and then, finally, to England. The book is a fictionalised account of Judith Kerr's experiences and the title refers to the soft toy Kerr/Anna decided to leave behind when her family moved to Switzerland, thinking she would return someday to her home in Berlin. In fact, the house and all its possessions were confiscated shortly after the family left Germany, a price was put on her father's head and his books were publicly burned.