Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued (Hardcover)
A Finalist for the 2022 Jane Addams Children's Book Award
An NPR Best Book of 2021
A New York Times Best Children's Book of 2021
A Washington Post Best Book of 2021
A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2021
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2021
In December 1938, a young Englishman canceled a ski vacation and went instead to Prague to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Nazis who were crowded into the city. Setting up a makeshift headquarters in his hotel room, Nicholas Winton took names and photographs from parents desperate to get their children out of danger. He raised money, found foster families in England, arranged travel and visas, and, when necessary, bribed officials and forged documents. In the frantic spring and summer of 1939, as the Nazi shadow fell over Europe, he organized the transportation of almost 700 children to safety.
Then, when the war began and no more children could be rescued, he put away his records and told no one. It was only fifty years later that a chance discovery and a famous television appearance brought Winton’s actions to light.
Peter Sís weaves Winton’s experiences and the story of one of the children he saved, Vera Gissing. Nicky & Vera is a tale of decency, action, and courage told in luminous, poetic images by an internationally renowned artist.
About the Author
Peter Sís is the Czech-born author/illustrator of three Caldecott Honor books, including The Wall, which also won the Sibert Medal. He is the first children’s book illustrator to win the MacArthur Fellowship, and also won the Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in Irvington, New York.
Captivating.... Sís takes great care, in this Holocaust tale about the horrific consequences of demonizing people who are different, to highlight the things we have in common.
— New York Times Book Review
This is a story about an unlikely hero, who quietly and modestly saved hundreds of children from the Nazis, and earned the eternal gratitude of those he managed to bring to Britain during the Second World War. It’s a story that deserves to be told, and in Peter Sís he’s found the perfect storyteller and illustrator. I read it with fascination and admiration for a man of great goodness and modesty.
— Philip Pullman
Peter Sís uses his unique genius to share with us the true story of a quiet hero whose message is especially important for today's world. The book works a kind of alchemy, with images that read like poetry and text that reads like a manifesto on goodness and decency. Together, the words and pictures are a love letter to humanity. Read it as soon as you can.
— Brian Selznick
An extraordinary life memorably and evocatively presented.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[A] deeply considered picture book biography.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Sís' latest reminds readers that real heroes are often quiet and unassuming.
— Booklist (starred review)
Tenderly crafted, visually layered and deeply reverent
— BookPage (starred review)
Spectacularly imaginative and will make readers weep.
— Sunday Times
An exceptional story told with a powerful combination of words and pictures.
— Horn Book Magazine (starred review)
The text and the artwork demonstrate the power of one courageous individual who was determined to make a difference.
— School Library Journal