The Secret Project
by Jonah Winter and Jeanette Winter
Dark, shadowy figures work on a secret project in a remote desert laboratory. Meanwhile, the people in the nearby town continue doing their everyday activities. They are clueless about the gadget until it is tested. The ominous countdown culminates in a red-orange mushroom cloud that grows and grows until the pages turn black.
An author's note puts the events into historical context.
You wouldn't think that a picture book about the atomic bomb would be suitable for children, but the Winters have succeeded in making the subject palatable. The spare prose and simple illustrations work together to instill a tone of suspense and curiosity leading to its unsettling conclusion. Children will find it frightening, yet fascinating, and will want to know more.
A very powerful and effective book.