Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon & Tanya Simon Book Review

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon & Tanya Simon
Illustrations by Mark Siegel
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: September 8, 2015

It begins with the Night of Broken Glass, an incident that forces Oskar's family to send him far away to New York City, to keep him safe. As young Oskar walks through the streets, searching for the home of his Aunt he encounters eight different blessings from eight different people that make his arrival special.

A beautiful picture book that weaves together many historical elements into a cohesive story that can be used for so many purposes. It is, at its heart, about looking for kindness in our fellow man, but more than that it is also about longing, home, refugees, religion, and family. The illustrations perfectly capture the cold and loneliness of this big new city, while also displaying the moments of warmth. I especially loved the moment when Oskar encounters Eleanor Roosevelt, who was in NYC during that time, even though the encounter with Oskar is purely fictional. And the moment when Oskar is reunited with his Aunt--captivating.