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A zookeeper at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo tells a story about a long time ago when Japan was at war. Bombs were dropped on Tokyo day and night, like falling rain. Some poeple were worried about what might happen if bombs hit the city's zoo. "If the cages were broken and dangerous animals escaped to run wild through the city, it would be terrible!" Therefore, by command of the army, the animals were to be killed. The zookeeper sadly continues his tale of John, Tonky, and Wanly--three performing elephants at the Ueno Zoo whose turn it was to die--and of their keepers, who wept and who prayed that the war would end so that thier beloved elephants might be saved. Yukio Tsuchiya's story will leave no reader unmoved. Ted Lewin's sensitive watercolors express all of the emotion and pathos of this tragic true tale.
A zookeeper recounts the story of John, Tonky, and Wanly, three performing elephants at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, whose turn it is to die, and of their keepers, who weep and pray that World War II will end so their beloved elephants might be saved.
Ted Lewin grew up in Buffalo, New York, with two brothers, one sister, two parents, a lion, an iguana, and a chimpanzee. He became interested in art as a young boy when he would draw his brothers' world of wrestling. Ted later worked as a professional wrestler to finance his studies at the Pratt Institute of Fine Arts, where he met his wife, Betsy Lewin, also a children's book writer and illustrator. He and his wife travel around the world to research the settings for their books. While working on SACRED RIVER, which he both wrote and illustrated, Ted joined thousands of Hindus on their pilgrimage to the banks of the Ganges River in Benares, India. Ted now lives and works in the brownstone he shares with his wife and their two cats in Brooklyn, New York. For more information visit www.tedlewin.com.
"A moving and powerful statement about the insanity of war." Horn Book
"A moving and powerful statement about the insanity of war." Horn Book Guide