My interest in the Holocaust began when I was a history major in college and continued through the years of my teaching the subject in school. I was wondering how [and if] I should introduce this harrowing subject to my almost 5 year old. I decided that it is never too early to teach the concept of tolerance and when I came across this book at the museum store in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., I realized I had found the perfect book.
This is a picture book, targeted at ages 4-8, but I feel it can be used up to grade 6. The writing is simple, but effectively captures the trials and amazing courage of Anne Frank, who was forced to go into hiding with her family in a Secret Annex to evade capture by the Nazis during the Nazi occupation of Holland in WW II. The text is easy to read, and perfect not only for reading aloud, but also for young readers keen to discover more about this dark period in history. Parents and teachers can utilize this book in many ways to teach the concept of tolerance and also the power of courage, even in young children.
The illustrations effectively capture the essence of Anne Frank's story. I first read The Diary of Anne Frank as a 10-year-old, and still have that dog-eared copy in my home library, having read it many times since. "A Picture Book of Anne Frank" makes Anne's story accessible to younger readers and also for more mature preschoolers. As a side note, I highly recommend a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. - there is an exhibit titled "Daniel's Story" which traces the poignant journey of a young Jewish boy during the Holocaust. It is perfect for children ages 7 and up [it's not too graphic], and contains many objects of the period which hold visual appeal for both children and adults. As for "A Picture Book of Anne Frank", it's a must-have for those keen to explore the topic with their children.