Mira is a young girl living in Canada and wishing that her father would be home for her birthday this year. He's never missed a birthday before and Mira is determined to find a way to bring her dad home in time. Mira enlists the assistance of Baku, an imaginary creature, to help locate her father. Mira gets a birds eye view of the town and surrounding area. At each place they visit, Mira picks up a stone as a keepsake and she also relives a memory from one of the stones in her collection. These all help keep her dad's memory close because it was a hobby they shared.
Mira's journey takes her back to the places that were meaningful to her family before they were forcibly relocated to an internment camp. Baku helps Mira cope with missing her father and the loss of so many dear memories. Her mother also offers encouragement during the difficult days of waiting.
Mira and Baku offers a perspective on history that is told in a sensitive way that children will understand. I liked the portrayal of her mother who gave Mira space to explore but also offered encouragement and support. This book offers a way for children to process disappointment and loss. Reading aloud with a parent or grandparent can open up conversations about handling sad and lonely events that can happen in life, or the pain of an absent parent.
I was aware of the Japanese internment in the US but had not realized that Canada also had camps. I feel it's important to honestly represent the past--even when it sheds an unfavorable light on our ancestors--and this book does so with honesty and an age appropriate telling. The author offers helpful historical notes at the end of the book.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced digital copy of Mira and Baku through NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and the opinions expressed are my own.