Innocienti wanted to illustrate how a child experiences war without really understanding it - the result is Rose Blanche.
He chose to call the little girl in his remarkable and moving book Rose Blanche because it was the name of a group of young German citizens who, at their peril, protested against the war. Like them, Innocenti's unforgettable Rose observes changes going on around her which others choose to ignore. She watches a streets of her small German town fill with men dressed as soldiers. One day she sees an ordinary little boy escaping from the back of a truck, only to be captured by the mayor and rudely handed back to the soldiers. Rose follows the boy's truck and in a desolate place, well out of town, she discovers many other children staring out from behind electrified barbed wire. They are fearfully hungry and appeal for something to eat. Rose Blanche instinctively senses the need for secrecy, even with her mother, in bringing the children food. Her simple humanity teaches her stealth and finds a way - amidst events more horrific than she can imagine - of reaching out to the innocent victims of her times.
This is a story which children are seldom told, though the adult world they will enter holds war as central both historically and politically. Innocenti's magnificently eloquent and haunting pictures highlight the radiant clarity of Rose Blanche's presence amidst the gloomy confusion of wartime Germany. Who better, after all, is there to see through humanity's excuses for destruction?
A beautifully illustrated read-aloud story book.