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No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War
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No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  945 ratings  ·  81 reviews
The beloved Caldecott Honor artist now recounts a tale of vastly different kind -- her own achingly potent memoir of a childhood of flight, imprisonment, and uncommon bravery in Nazi-occupied Poland. Anita Lobel was barely five when the war began and sixteen by the time she came to America from Sweden, where she had been sent to recover at the end of the war. This haunting ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 2nd 2000 by HarperTrophy (first published 1998)
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This is a non-fiction book written by a Jewish woman who was five years old when WW II started. She went into hiding with her Christian nanny, who ironically does not like Jews, but wants to protect the author and her brother so she claims they are her children. After moving from place to place in hiding and having almost no contact with her mother or father, she is captured by the Nazi’s and taken to a concentration camp. During the last few months of the war she experiences all of the horrors ...more
Kate Madigan
Initially I debated between a 3 and a 4 for this book but ultimately decided on the latter because I felt the writing deserved it. I found myself struggling to connect with the main character and her desire to rid herself of anything family-related or identifiably Jewish. I wanted her to feel pride instead of shame or disgust. Her lack of any kind of emotional connection to her parents in particular bothered me. However, upon reflecting on this, I realized her reaction to herself and family was ...more
What an experience Anita Lobel had. She protected her younger brother, managed to survive a concentration camp and ended up in Sweden. Miraculously, the two were reunited with her parents after their release, in Sweden. Lobel had lived an upper middle class life in Krakow; had a colorful live-in and Catholic nanny who didn't like Jews or Jewish customs, but was loyal and protective of "her children". Plainly written but hugely readable make this a haunting and readable reading experience for old ...more
Gary Bernard
The autobiography No Pretty Pictures presents an important story of family, faith, and finding ones self in the midst of truly horrible circumstances. Young Anita was a Jewish youth in Poland when the Nazis invaded. Her father fled the country, and young Anita was left in the care of her Jewish mother and Catholic nanny. As Anita looks back at her experiences during the war, we go with the young girl who is thrust from a simple yet prosperous life into a life living in slums in constant fear of ...more
This is a story written by a famous children's illustrator about her life as a Polish Jewish child during WWII. Five when the war started, she spent many years of the war hidden by her nanny and then the last couple in a concentration camp. After their liberation she lived Sweden for almost 10 years before her family emigrated to the United States.

I think I was surprised by the dispassionate voice of the book. One of the only parts of the book that was particularly passionate was the end when t
No Pretty Pictures: a child of war –Anita Lobel
3 stars

Anita Lobel is an award winning illustrator of children’s books. I love her artwork. I have read On Market Street and The Rose in My Garden to many groups of children. Her pictures are vibrant and full of life. Although the title prepared me, I was deeply affected by her stark, unadorned memoir of her childhood. She was barely five years old, essentially the age of children that I teach, when the Germans invaded Poland. She does not relate h
Mar 31, 2014 Wedu added it
No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War by Anita Lobel is a memoir of her own life. The story begins when she was five years old when the Germans march in to Karkow, Poland. Her father a religious Jew flees without his family and their mother sends them away with Niania (their nanny) she and her brother who is disguised as a girl. The two sibling embark on a turbulent journey through the Karkrow ghetto fake identities, capture and getting sent to concentration camps.

I this book I think Anita Lobel di
No pretty pictures is an autobiography about a young girl who actually lived through the holocaust. It begins with her life as a five year old, explaining what she remembers at that time. As she grows up, her stories become more detailed as she is able to remember more. She was only ten years old when she was sent to a concentration camp and was forced to take care of herself and her brother for that time. This story shows strength, bravery, and appreciation for readers, as we will never have to ...more
Caelyn Pietila
The story No Pretty Pictures, written by Anita Lobel is an autobiography of herself when she was a child. Lobel and her family were captured by Nazi’s in Poland where she lived during WWII. Anita and her brother for five days until the Nazis found them, and were then sent to a concentration camp. The book portrays Anita’s journey escaping from her miserable life, to discover and flourish off books and art. This story portrays what it was like for children to live during WWII, who were discrimina ...more
The title is perhaps mostly true. There was at least one brief period immediately after the war that was what one could describe as 'pretty' this girl survivor's life during wartime and its immediate aftermath was disrupted several times and not in pleasant ways. War's disruptions began when she was five years old and her father was taken into the Soviet Union. She and her younger brother were protected for several years by her Catholic nanny but they were eventually captured by the Nazi's and t ...more
This book is the memoir of an already well know author and illustrator Anita Lobel. In this book she relives her difficult childhood. She grew up in the midst of war. The books starts of when she was 5 being a child hidden away from the Nazi's with her brother by their polish Nanny, and then being caught and suffering through a series of concentration camps. This book shows the strength of children, while she is separated from her parents for two years. During this time she has no-one but her br ...more
Logan Bruns
This book talks about the life of Anita Lobel from 1939-1951. Anita, and her brother, were children of war that have gone through concentration camps and adapting to new cultures. Different events that were interesting to read were when Anita and her brother were taken to Niania's christian village to escape the Nazi invasion. I also think readers would be interested in reading how Anita got taken to the Ghetto and how she escaped afterwards. Another interesting event was when Anita, and the ot ...more
No Pretty Pictures by Anita Lobel

WWII novel. Two children who are part jewish are trying to stay safe. They keep traveling with their nanny while their mother stays in the city. When the mother joins them in the country she ruins the whole charade and they have to move again. Eventually the children are taken to a concentration camp. When the war is over, the children are taken to Poland where they spend time at a hospital recovering from tuberculosis. They are able to find their parents through
I enjoyed reading this memoir, which is centered on the holocaust. Several parts made me feel sick inside. How could we have allowed the holocaust to happen? But it happened. This account is heartfelt, real, touching. It’s from the perspective of a young girl. I’ve read Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, but I’ve never looked at the holocaust through the eyes of a child. The introspection made this account engaging and real for me. It also encouraged me to explore more literature and accounts on the holo ...more
No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War is Anita Lobel's memoir of her time hiding away from the Nazis during WWII in Poland. The story is worth telling and reading because the horrors of the Nazis should never be forgotten. Lobel's memoir is simply written. She is not going to be known for her prose, but the simple language reflects her age during the War.

Lobel is five when her Jewish family starts hiding from the Nazis. Her father disappears shortly, and her mother keeps them safe for a while becau
Lindsay G
The book No Pretty Pictures is an amazing book about a girl named Hanasu living through the holocaust. One morning Hanasu woke up to find her father gone. When she asked her mother where he went, she regretfully informed her that her father had been taken away that night by Nazis. Hanasu thought he was going to come back, and did not know that he was taken away because he was Jewish. Hanasu had a younger brother but once their mother realized that they were in danger, he had to pretend he was a ...more
Nomonde Nyathi
“No Pretty Pictures – A Child Of War” is a memoir by Anita Lobel. In this book Anita also known as Hanusiu, finds her father being taken a way from her by the Nazis when she was five years old. Day by day life gets tough as Nazis keep driving by her house and in the neighborhood. Until one day, her nanny, her brother and herself go into hiding. Her brother is forced to pretend he's a girl and they both act as if their nanny is their mother. As they move from one home to another, their escapes ge ...more
I'm choosing to give this book 4 stars because in some ways I think it deserves 3 (it's not a gripping or compelling read) and in some ways I think it deserves 5 (in the sense that it is the perfect book for introducing WWII -- and gratitude -- to your kids).

I'm going to write about it's 5-star aspects.

First off, Anita Lobel is very well known for her children's books illustrations (she won a Caldecott Honor for "On Market Street"), but if you're anything like me you'll be shocked to hear that s
Saw this on the library shelf and grabbed it to read. It's a good memoir of life as a Jewish child from a privileged family who loses everything to the Nazi's. She is hidden, apart from her parents, during World War II until she is eventually seized by the Nazi's with her brother and sent to prison and concentration camp. The author's story is realistic and not dramatized, and offers good insight into how the Nazi's characterization of Jews changed her self identity.
Anita Lobel writes her memoir describing her experiences during the Holocaust from a child's perspective. The first-person narrative is written with a sense of immediacy and vividness. Her story begins with her middle class home in Krakow, Poland. When the Nazis invade Poland, her father is forced to flee to Russia. Then Anita and her brother escape to a small town with their nanny. Finally, they end up back in Krakow, living in the ghetto with their mother before once again escaping with the na ...more
Daniel Kirijenko
One of the most interesting books for me was this one. There were so many things i liked about it that i don't even know where to start. First of all, this book was based on a story that happened in Poland, and since i speak Polish i could relate to so many words that were spoken in the story, which also brought back a bunch of memories. I always wanted to read a history book and i got really lucky on this one. It made me feel like i was going through the war, from the age of five until the age ...more
This nonfiction account of the Holocaust is told through the eyes of a girl ages 5-12. Her family lives in Krakow, Poland when the Nazi come into power. the story follows our narrator and her younger brother, from losing their family, to hiding in the countryside with their Polish nanny, to entering and then escaping the Jewish ghetto outside of Krakow, to a Benedictine convent, polish prison, Auschwitz, and finally a Swedish sanitarium for tuberculosis treatment after the war. The story is told ...more
Written from the raw and descriptive perspective of a child’s experience of the Holocaust, Lobel writes her memoir as an adult. What I loved about this version of a WWII story is that Lobel experiences all of these things, not understanding the meaning behind them. She didn’t know what the clouds of smoke were. She didn’t understand what it meant to be sent to the doctor in Auschwitz. All she knew and could describe to us as readers is what it felt like. How it felt walking through the snow to a ...more
I like this book alot!Whether it was written by a fictional character made by the author,or whether the author experienced it herself,I don't know.It was raw,sharp,and to the point.It shows the main character experiencing the horrors the Jews felt in liquidation/concentration camps,and trying to stay alive with nobody but her brother for comfort.

The story of a little Jewish girl,who finds herself migrating from place to place to escape the Nazi's.Eventually,they catch up with her and her younger
Riveting story written from the point of view of a young polish Jew and the horrible experiences she had during the Holocaust. Her experiences were described in detail and shared the horrific conditions and treatment she and her brother lived through. To hide their identity as Jews she lived for a time with her nanny who was catholic and taught her prayers and took them to mass. The author's brother was even disguised and treated as a girl to help him survive the Nazi torture. Written from her m ...more
This book was by far the most emotional book I have read in my life thus far. When I read this, I was in the 5th grade and our parents were informed that this book was both grafic and disturbing, but held a very important lesson. This book shows a young girl and her brother's journey through a Nazi concentration camp during WWI. It goes into detail about events that she encountered, excecuations she saw, and how her body was literally vanishing away. The most emotional part for me was the part w ...more
Feb 04, 2014 Janina added it
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Topically, the book is meaningful and important. But the writing is very dry, very unvaried--subject, verb, object type work. It will stay with me, not because of the method of storytelling but because of the story itself.
A fast-paced story that doesn't dwell on the hardships and traumas of the Holocaust, but deals with a child's experience in a very straight-forward factual manner. Allows the reader to contemplate how they might have reacted or felt in similar situations. Not a tear-jerker, but a thought provoking book.

My 13 year old daughter was reading this for school - it's the first book she's ever completely loved and she recommended that I read it so we could discuss it together. Great read for teens or ad
This book was in my middle school daughter's stack of school summer reading. It caught my eye purely by the name of the author: Lobel. I thought of the Frog & Toad series we had read a few years ago when she was younger. I decided to read it and couldn't put it down. While my heart broke over and over again for the impact of WWII on a little girl in Poland, it was a story of survival, strength, and hope. It offers one the opportunity to embrace the human spirit, and have an appreciation for ...more
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Anita Lobel is an illustrator of children's books. Her memoir that depicts her childhood of flight and imprisonment in Nazi-occupied Poland, ''No Pretty Pictures'' was a finalist for the National Book Award.

She has also received the Caldecott Honor Medal.
More about Anita Lobel...
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