Written by Kathy Stinson
Illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Published by Kids Can Press
Based on the inspirational work of Jella Lepman, co-founder of IBBY, The Lady with the Books imagines how the power of books helped two children, Anneliese and Peter, begin to rebuild their lives after World War II. With gentle illustrations, this story introduces how picture books can reignite hope in young hearts. While not shying away from the realities of war, the reader is carried back in time as the promise of a future returns to these children’s lives.
In 1946 Jella created a travelling exhibit of over 4,000 children’s books, donated from around the world, that toured Germany and helped children heal from the horrors of war. Jella went on to be a co-founder of IBBY. Her vision ¾ to help children whose lives have been disrupted by war and disaster through the power of books ¾ inspires the programs and efforts of IBBY sections around the world.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of The Lady with the Books will go to IBBY’s Children in Crisis Fund.
“Let us set this upside-down world right again by starting with the children. They will show the grown-ups the way to go.” — Jella Lepman, 1945
Reviewed by Stephanie Wells