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The Wall (Reading Rainbow Books) Paperback – Picture Book, August 24, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Reissue edition (August 24, 1992)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0395629772
- ISBN-13 : 978-0395629772
- Reading age : 4 - 7 years
- Lexile measure : AD520L
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 4 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.81 x 0.12 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #90,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I've been there and wondered how the pair would depict the memorial. What they put on paper is exactly what happens at the Wall, exactly! To make the experience wide-eyed and innocent, the author relays the story through this little boy's perspective. He's been prepared: he knows they have come to locate grandfather's name as one of 58,000 killed and missing in action.
Bunting chooses to by-pass the location catalog and simply use 1967, the year Grandfather died in the war. Once they find his name, Dad takes out paper to use with pencil to rub his father's name as a keepsake. They leave a picture of the grandson below the deceased soldier's name. The boy has already explored some of the items that relatives and friends leave at the base of the Wall.
The pair encounter four types of visitors: an elderly couple obviously visiting their son's name, a grandfather and grandson visiting the soldier-dad's name, and a group of girls on a field trip. Their behavior is proper, but not reflective of loss such as the others experience. The last visitor becomes the most deeply moving encounter. A man in a wheelchair with a blanket folded over where his legs should have been, an obvious veteran with a decorated ribbon, and obviously a Vietnam vet, rolls in. It is a chance meeting the boy will never forget.
When they leave, the boy is sad, but wiser. He's been to the memorial erected in his grandfather's honor, as well as the 58,000 companions. He would like a grandpa as the other boy had, but he is proud to know his grandfather served his country.
As an interesting side note, the father-son duo look to be Native American in an honorable tribute to an under-recognized minority who also participated in this war.
Not one sentence of the story is overstated, not one illustration false. Script and art work in tandem in presenting a quiet little story concerning an utterly cosmic wound in the American psyche.
By Rebekah C. on November 10, 2020