La description

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


  • Joint winner, Book of the Year, Quill & Quire 2023


“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

“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 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