Kenta and the Big Wave

by Ruth Ohi

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.

Ruth Ohi Author Biography

My love of libraries began as a child. Mom and Dad took us every week. And now, no matter where I am in the world --a library always feels a little bit like home. I am the illustrator of over 40 picture books (16 of which I am also the author). I am a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. I enjoyed being a 2011-2012 Writer-in-Residence for the Toronto District School Board. Many of the books I have illustrated have been translated into different languages. Favourite things to draw: 1. People (made-up and real) 
2. Animals (made-up and real)
 3. People or animals in made-up situations. Colours that I couldn’t live without:
 Blue and Green. I live with my family in Toronto, Canada.