Dear Ichiro

by Jean Davies Okimoto. Illustrated by Doug Keith
ISBN: 1570613737

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Children's Books
by Deborah Wandal

This story establishes an important link between childhood feelings of anger and hatred, and global issues pertaining to war and peace between nations. When young Henry's best friend becomes his worst enemy through a thoughtless act, Henry's great-grandfather finds a way to talk about Henry's "I'll hate you forever" outburst of hurt and vengefulness. Going to a baseball game together, the old man remarks on the superb Japanese players on the hometown team, and on how much has changed since WWII when he thought America and Japan would be enemies forever. To his great-grandson's query about what happens "when you quit being enemies?" the old man responds with some profoundly simple observations: to achieve the peace that all people want, we must have goodwill towards each other, and our hearts must be in the "right position"¨open.
The young boy then applies these lessons by reconciling with his friend, and by writing a letter of appreciation to a Japanese player, in which he explains how national harmonies¨"all you guys from different countries can play on a team together"¨have inspired him to make peace in his own life. Lots of good baseball info as well.

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