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The Most Beautiful Village in the World

Yamo’s Village Series, Book 1
By Yutaka Kobayashi

A young boy, Yamo, lives in the Afghan village of Paghman. The peaceful village is surrounded by the bounty of nature: fruit trees burst into bloom in the spring, and in the summer Yamo’s whole family joins in harvesting apricots, plums, and cherries, breaking into song as they pick.

For the first time, this year Yamo goes to the market in town to sell their harvest with his father. He is filling in for his older brother, who is off fighting in the war. After they have sold their fruit, his father uses the income to buy a white baby lamb.

Through the story you are able to feel the deep love of the family, enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the landscape, and vivid activities at the town market. Then, on the final page you will be stunned to learn, without any illustrations: “This winter, my village was destroyed by the war, and now it’s all gone.” This book provides readers with opportunities to think about the war and children in Afghanistan and how families live there.

The Most Beautiful Village in the World is the first title in Yamo’s Village series.

• ISBN 978-1-940842-25-7
• 40 Pages, 31 Beautiful Color Illustrations
• Hardcover Picture Book (10 3/4 in x 8 1/2 in)
• Written for children ages 5 to 7
• Mariko Shii Gharbi (translator), Simone Kaplan (editor)
• US $17.99/CAN $23.99
• 2018

About the Author
Yutaka Kobayashi (1946–) is a Nihonga (Japanese-style paintings) artist and picture-book author. In 1979, his very first submission was accepted for the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition (Nitten). He was a frequent visitor to the Islamic countries of Asia and the Middle East during the 1970s to early 1980s, and the main themes of his works reflect those visits.

“I wish the civil war in Afghanistan would end quickly, and. . . . And then I could see my old friends, and that their village could become, once again, the most beautiful village in the world.” —Yutaka Kobayashi

“Author/illustrator Kobayashi’s vivid and colorful illustrations, together with detailed descriptions, effectively convey the lively nature of the village… The ending is abrupt, but details in both text and illustrations provide some foreshadowing without blunting the shock. A sweet story with an ending that too many children will know.” —Kirkus Reviews

“. . . It’s a reality for many children the world over and will be
eye-opening for many American children.”
—Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast


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