Kenta and the Big Wave

Kenta and the Big Wave

3.85 (112 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , With 

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The tsunami has swept everything away--including Kenta's most prized possession, his soccer ball. When tragedy strikes Kenta's small village in Japan, he does all he can to hang on to the things that matter to him most. But amidst the chaos of an emergency evacuation brought on by the tsunami, Kenta and his family must quickly leave their home, taking with them only the barest necessities. Climbing to safer ground, Kenta watches helplessly as his prized soccer ball goes bouncing down a hill and gets swept away by the waves, never to be seen again...that is until it washes up on a beach on the other side of the world, into the hands of a child who takes it upon himself to return the ball to its rightful owner. In this evocative picture book, Ruth Ohi's glowing art transports the reader to Japan with gentle images that offer reassurance amidst the background of an environmental catastrophe. Inspired by true stories of personal items being washed ashore thousands of miles away after the tsunami of 2011, Kenta and the Big Wave is about the strength of the human spirit and the power of Mother Nature. Including an afterword explaining tsunamis to young readers.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 32 pages
  • 191 x 235 x 2.54mm | 77.11g
  • Ontario, Canada
  • English
  • 1554515769
  • 9781554515769
  • 1,276,263

Review quote

Beautifully written and illustrated.--Laura Reilly"Resource Links" (12/01/2013) Ohi has written a very simple but compelling look at surviving a natural disaster.--Tasha Saecker"Waking Brain Cells" (10/07/2013) Spare language and full-color watercolor illustrations that flesh out the narrative make this a multilayered introduction to Japan, the concept of a tsunami, and the cross-cultural commonality of soccer for children.--Kathleen Flinn"School Library Journal" (10/01/2013) The determination of the people in Kenta's village to hold on to hope is a good message for young readers as are the boy's selflessness in returning Kenta's ball and Kenta's gratitude at being reunited with his soccer ball.--Karyn Miehl"CM Magazine" (10/18/2013) The more important message of connection and caring--a young man carrying an elderly woman on his back as the wind gains greater force, survivors huddling to comfort one another in the colossal wreckage, children somehow finding the ability to laugh and play even in tragedy--rings loudly throughout Ohi's soft, gentle illustrations on every page.--Terry Hong"BookDragon" (08/06/2013) The story of this simple act of goodness is told as a storyteller might relate it, simple language with big themes.--Peter Marino"Pirate Tree" (08/13/2013)
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About Ruth Ohi

Ruth Ohi is an author, and the illustrator of more than 20 books for children including her bestselling Chicken, Pig, Cow series. She is a tireless presenter at schools and libraries, where she shares secrets of her trade with children. Ruth lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario. Check out Ruth's website at
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Rating details

112 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 20% (22)
4 50% (56)
3 27% (30)
2 4% (4)
1 0% (0)
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