The book “Why, Zaida?” by Alvin Abram, illustrated by Judy Willemsma, talks about that kind of person – a grandfather who talks about the Holocaust only after his grandson asks and asks. Nevertheless, the grandfather has to answer his grandson. He does this with the time-honoured technique of parables, stories that help teach a lesson – a robin eating a worm, a dog chasing a squirrel, a leaf caught in a stream, a grassy bank. Every page has beautiful illustrations in lush greens, blues and browns.
Author uses metaphors from nature to explain the Holocaust. Why, Zaida explains the brutality of the unnamed Nazi regime and its collaborators by drawing another analogy as they see a dog attempting to prey on a squirrel. Likewise, he likens evil to weeds, which threatens the good grass if left unchecked. Abram generalizes the story – perhaps to provide a gentle more universal approach to young readers first being introduced to the potentially traumatic subject matter.