Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Military & Wars

Mira and Baku

by (author) Sara Truuvert

illustrated by Michelle Theodore

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Military & Wars, Asian American, General, Imagination & Play
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


A Quill & Quire Book of the Year

With the help of a magical friend, a young girl searches for her missing father in this poignant story set during Japanese Canadian incarceration in World War II.

It’s a week until Mira’s birthday, and she’s getting worried. Where is Papa? He has never missed her birthday before. When Mira’s friend Baku, a creature from Japanese folklore, offers to help, they journey over farmlands and forests, mountains and river mouths, gathering clues to Papa’s whereabouts—clues that echo Mira’s memories and overheard conversations in the camp where she lives with Mama.

Lushly illustrated by up-and-coming illustrator Michelle Theodore, this tender, moving picture book by debut author Sara Truuvert explores the profound impacts of family separation and the different forms comfort can take for a child processing loss.

Further reading on Japanese Canadian and Japanese American internment and a note from the author add to readers’ understanding of this underrepresented period of history, making it an instant classic. For fans of Baseball Saved Us, Mira and Baku is an emotional exploration of the power of imagination and hope in difficult times.

“I highly recommend this poignant, splendid telling, in both words and art, of Mira’s important story.” —Matt Faulkner, author/illustrator of Gaijin: American Prisoner of War (recipient of the Asian/Pacific American Library Association Best Children’s Book Award) and My Nest of Silence

About the authors

SARA TRUUVERT is a Canadian author of Japanese-Estonian descent. She grew up in Toronto and now lives in Ottawa, Ontario, where she writes everything from short fiction to poetry to science articles. Mira and Baku is her first picture book.

Sara Truuvert's profile page

Michelle Theodore was born and raised in Edmonton. She loves making intelligent and captivating illustrations that evoke a deep emotional connection. Her recent work focuses on exploring the intangible feelings of childhood memory and her strong obsession with the pull of the ocean.


Michelle Theodore's profile page


  • Joint winner, Book of the Year, Quill & Quire

Editorial Reviews

“Sara Truuvert’s approach is sensitive and yet very complex, allowing Mira to be a child in a very grave situation and offer her hope through her imagination and memory.”

CanLit for Little Canadians, 10/06/23

“The somber reminder of a dark episode of history nevertheless ends in hope.”

Foreword Reviews, 11/23

“A melancholy yet hopeful picture book.”

Booklist, 10/01/2023

“The book’s minimal textual descriptions are one of its greatest strengths, allowing Michelle Theodore’s evocative images to render Mira’s adventures with Baku all the more affecting … an exemplary reading experience for children in K-7.”

Miramichi Reader, 09/29/23

Other titles by

Related lists