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Big Wave, The: Reviewed

Author:Pearl S. Buck
Illustrator: Hokusai and Hiroshige
Reading Level (Conceptual):Sophisticated readers
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up
Year of publication:1947

Two Japanese boys survive a tidal wave.

Living as we do near the coast, I was surprised that it took my ten year old more than a week to react to the recent devastating tsunamis.

Last night, finally, she began to take the tsunamis very personally. "We live at the top of a high hill," she said. "So I'm not worried about what would happen if I were here and the tsunami hit. But, my school is much closer to sea level. What would we do if the tsunami hit when we were at school?"

Run uphill, I told her. Run fast. What else should I have said?

Today, I paid a visit to my daughter's school. I asked them whether they would be notified if a tsunami were detected. I asked what the procedures would be in case that sort of a warning is issued. I suggested that everyone at the school get together to discuss what the plan would be.

Tonight, I read The Big Wave all the way through in one sitting.
It is only 80 pages long and it packs a punch.
The lovely woodblock prints in the hardcover edition were selected by the author.
Here are my favorite quotes in order.

The Big Wave: every child over 10 living on a coast should read it. But although the words are simple, the ideas are difficult to deal with.
The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck

-- Emily Berk

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Other reviews: Big Wave, The
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