Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hiroshima No Pika” as Want to Read:
Hiroshima No Pika
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hiroshima No Pika

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  237 ratings  ·  65 reviews
A little girl and her parents are eating breakfast, and then it happened. "Hiroshima no Pika."
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 1st 1982 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hiroshima No Pika, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hiroshima No Pika

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 547)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Casey Lawson
I started out reading this book for my children's lit class at PSU. What first drew me to this book was the fact that it was about Hiroshima, and me being half japanese, I wanted to see what they wrote down. I mean other than japanese, japanese americans, and history enthusiast who knows a lot about what actually happened that day in Japan? I know a few people could tell me the name of the bomb that hit, and what day, but how did those people feel? what actually happened to these people?

It is an
I will just include the review that I made for my class as it is more descriptive:

Hiroshima No Pika or the Flash of Hiroshima, is the true story about the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. The after-effects of the bomb is seen through the eyes a young Japanese family, in particular the seven year old daughter Mii. Ever year on August 6, the people of Hiroshima light lanterns to remember the dead and let them drift down the rivers that run through the city. The book warns
I had to read this Japanese picture book for my International Children's Literature class. It's like medicine: good for you, but not enjoyable. It's the story of a small family's experience when the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The pictures are very graphic, as the bomb did away with everyone's clothes. Not only is everyone naked, but the images are unnatural and warped. I am glad I read it, however, because I gained insight into the effects of the bomb on the citizens of Hiroshima. Reading ...more
Katie Carson
I really enjoyed this international historical fiction picture book. Initially, my first reaction to the book was the consideration that the author was from Japan. I was instantly intrigued by her perspective on a tragedy that the Americans brought on the Japanese.
After my reading of the story, I read the author, Toshi Maruki, actually got the idea for this book from her interactions with a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing. The survivor had carried with her a feeling that when she shared her e
Roger DeBlanck
This juvenile non-fiction picture book is intended for upper age elementary students. “A sudden, terrible light flashed all around. The light was bright orange—then white, like thousands of lightening bolts all striking at once.” That is the way Maruki describes the apocalyptic explosion. Quite possibly two of the most horrific events in the history of the world (the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki), Hiroshima No Pika takes on the subject by remembering what happened in gr ...more
Olivia Lagore
Hiroshima No Pika relates the experiences of a small family in Japan who struggle to survive during and in the aftermath of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.
With the vibrant and powerful illustrations , reminiscent of Picasso's Guernica, the book effectively communicates the panic, pain, fear, exhaustion, and nightmarish experiences of the bombing. The books descriptions of the city before and after provide a stark contrast, moving from "...Hiroshima's seven rivers flowed quietly through the ci
that cute little red-eyed kitten
This little book is much better than my three stars express, it's just that it left me with a feeling of wrong, wrong, wrong. The format is perhaps for 3-5 year olds. But the contents is definitely not, it's the horrors of Hiroshima that day in August in 1945, and I wouldn't show that to such small children. Maybe it's a children's book for adults. I liked the illustrations. And the story is every bit as heartbreaking as the "Barefoot Gen" comics (about which I'm passionate by now), just almost ...more
I had chills and cried after reading this book and tried to imagine reading to a child of mine and the types of discussion that the graphic and disturbing images, I could only imagine, would generate. The emotion and pain conveyed by the highly expressionistic art in the book was haunting. This book would have to be read with a lot of explanation and forethought because of how devastating the subject matter truly is. I found myself questioning the actions that led up to the event and unnecessary ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Connie added it
Hiroshima No Pika is the account of the after effects of WWII and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It is and international picture book told through the Japanese author, Toshi Mauruki and has graphic and detailed pictures of the devastation that took place. The major themes are consequences of war, survival, and family.

An activity that I would use with this book is for students to do research to answer the following questions: 1-What is an atomic bomb and what damage can it cause? 2
The first time I actually read this book was many years ago. It is based on the perspective of a young, Japanese girl on August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima, Japan. This was day that the first of two of the American's two atomic bombs that were dropped and the destruction which followed.
Heart-wrenching and brutal, it describes the painfully true consequences of innocent people in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Even as hard as it is to read, I would recommend for adults and older children to(probabl
Erin Reilly-Sanders
It's much harder to say that I liked this one than it is to say that it is good. I don't think that anyone is supposed to like books on this subject. The illustrations are ugly (not necessarily a bad thing) and disturbing while the story is plain, to the point and often emotionless. There is certainly something to be said for illustrations that are so different that they demand that you think about them. The flowing forms of nude people really make you want to develop reasons for their portrayal ...more
This is a heart-wrenching book based on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, on August 6th, 1945. The story begins by describing how the people of Hiroshima were prepared for any attacks from the United States, and then focuses on one family having breakfast the day the atomic bomb was dropped. How the family escaped, and found refuge by a river and watched as the city was engulfed in flames and destroyed. The author's descriptions make the scenes vivid, and you can almost feel what the ...more
I had previously heard of this book but did not think it would be so poignant. The descriptions of the scenes, the imagery and artistry depicted, the colors used and of course the view point of Mii certainly changed my mind about a simple picture book, which this book is not just a simple picture book.

Mii, a 7 year old little girl, shares her minutes before the “flash” and the hours after with enough detail that it forces you to pause and attempt to image the devastation of what a little girl s
Hiroshima No Pika is a tragic story about what a young girl and her parents go through the day the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Its intended audience is 10 and up. Teaching fifth grade, I can tell you this book would not be appropriate for 10-year-olds. I would say at least high school. The book's descriptions, about what the family saw and the lasting effects the bomb had on them, were devastating. The itensity of the descriptions were shocking and disturbing. The pictures after the bo ...more
Stacy Chrzastowski
Grade Level/Interest Level: grade 3-4
Reading Level: Lexile Adult Directed 620L level, 3rd-4th grade
Main Characters: Mii, Mother, Father
POV: third person omniscient narrator
Setting: Hiroshima

This story is about a young girl, her mother, and her father surviving the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima. The story starts off where their house explodes, they wake up, and the mother leads the daughter and carries the father who is badly burned to safety. They travel very far to escape the fire. They end up slee
Holly Smith
This is another book based on World Ward Two. This point of view from someone in Japan during the bombing of Hiroshima. This story is based on a Wife/Mother who had the strength and courage to carry her wounded husband and pull her young daughter across multiple rivers trying to reach safety from the after math of "Little Boy". The illustrations in this book are very abstract, trying to show the horrific scene playing out in Hiroshima on that day, but still not wanting to be to graphic for a chi ...more
Without a doubt the most gripping and horrifying picture book I have ever read, Hiroshima No Pika, chronicles the explosion of the first of two atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States to end WWII. One moment Mii is happily eating sweet potatoes for breakfast with her family and the next moment they are fleeing their burning house after the massive explosion. The next day consists of running from fires past dead and dying people and animals. The images as well as the explanations are r ...more
While this picture is accessible for a younger audience. I think the content and images would be more appropriate for mature middle school students and older. Upper elementary students could understand the book, but I think they would need to have a substantial discussion after to process the information and feelings related to the bombing of Hiroshima. I would use this book to introduce lessons about the war or the dropping of the bomb.

The book tells the story of a family the morning of and da
1983 Batchelder Award Winner

This book has been controversial--many adults think that children are not ready for the disturbing subject matter or the horrible imagery. I think if I had children, I might read it to them depending on what it seemed like they could handle at the time.

In any case, it's an important subject for anyone to know about. I visited Hiroshima in 2005 and spent hours in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. After that experience, I honestly don't care what the reasons were for
This book made me cry. Hiroshima No Pika is a story based on the true account a woman retold to the author, many years after the story took place. It is the story of the woman and her daughter and husband. Mii is the daughter's name, only seven years old when the bomb dropped on their home in Hiroshima. The woman carried her husband on her back and took her daughter by the hand as the fled from the terrible scene and scorching flames.

Years later, Mii never grew and remained the size
Lou Z
Very interesting...All important events given in a simple way, so that everyone can understand the importance of the Hiroshima bombing. I recommend it to anyone that is really fond on learning what happened there( through peoples narrations)and dont get that sad and dipressed.
Shayne Cope
I liked that the book was told from the point of view of the little girl, Mii. This book really opened my eyes about Hiroshima and shows it in a true perspective. Though a sad and deep topic, important to teach kids. This makes the historical event relatable to kids.
Hiroshima No Pika is a tragic story told by the perspective of a young girl who tells the story of the day the atomic bomb dropped onto the city of Hiroshima.

These pictures bring me into the book to feel as if I could be in that town during that time. They are shocking to a young audience due to the fact that some of the characters become naked, however, I think that once discussing this book the children can understand that it is because literally their clothes were burned off of them in this t
I first read this book when I was doing my final for my class and I had to create a lesson plan for this story. Hiroshima is a sad but powerful story about a family who survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. This story gives a chilling but realistic account of what one family had to do, and experience in order to survive. The illustrations to this story are abstract yet very powerful, and make the words of the story that much more powerful. I would suggest that this book be used for grades fifth ...more
Published: 1982, HarperCollins Publishers
Age: 12+

This story is told from the prospective of an innocent little girl named Mii, who will break your heart. As she and her mother and father are eating breakfast one morning, the atomic bomb is dropped in what the book calls, “the flash”. This is another example of the atrocities of war from the Japanese side. The story shows Mii and her mother trying to escape the devastation. Maruki doesn’t take a side, she just shows the aftermath of what happens
This is a deeply disturbing book, and rightly so. How do you explain to a child the atrocities and senseless destruction caused by an atomic bomb? An adult can not comprehend it herself. "Hiroshima No Pika" translates roughly as the flash on Hiroshima, which is how the bomb comes upon the city-dwellers, as a flash of light followed by fire. The pictures are quite feminine and graceful and add to the initial feeling of chaos and consequent despair. This is a book to be revisited as it details an ...more
Michelle Kovacs
The story is easy to follow, as told by a narrator, of a family of three. The little girl in the story is seven when the atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima. The story recounts the events and happenings of the family just before, during and after the bomb as well as what the family did to survive. The story does a great job of explaining the effects that the people of Japan experienced during this time in history. The illustrations of the book include a lot of red, which indicates to the reader ...more
Shira Burns
This book is a great way to integrate social studies into language arts. Through the eyes of a little girl named Mii, the reader experiences the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mii starts off the story explaining how she and her family are sitting eating rice when all of a sudden she experiences a blinding bright light. Mii describes her surroundings as she, her mother, and father try to escape the destruction caused by the bombing. Use this book to engage students into a social studies lesso ...more
I used this book to give the other side to the war story when I was teaching them about World War II. I thought it was a great book.
I still shudder thinking about this book that details the day the bomb dropped on Hiroshima as seen through the eyes of young Ming and her mother and father. Graphic images and haunting narrative are aplenty in Hiroshima No Pika by Toshi Maruki, but the story Maruki relates has a strong human focus. Really, in a work of this type, there is no sugar-coating the horrors and atrocities that occured. In my opinion, there is nothing to be gained in hiding the truth of history. An important book that ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18 19 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rose Blanche
  • Tea with Milk
  • Baseball Saved Us
  • The Composition
  • So Far from the Sea
  • Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War
  • The Friends
  • The Middle Passage: White Ships/ Black Cargo
  • Freedom Summer
  • Tibet: Through the Red Box
  • Wabi Sabi
  • Jamela's Dress
  • Tsunami!
  • The Enemy: A Book About Peace
  • Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
  • Anno's Journey
  • La Mariposa
  • Crow Boy
Pika Don

Share This Book