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The Journey

by Francesca Sanna

Published by Flying Eye Books, 2016
44 pages
ISBN: 978-1-909263-99-4

Ages 5-9

“…one day the war took my father.” A young child describes a family’s journey to escape their homeland, which has become a war zone. The potent, matter-of-fact narrative becomes even more powerful set against striking illustrations that are stylized, beautiful, and harrowing. The mother does everything possible to reassure and protect her children as they travel, much of this conveyed through small yet critical details in the art. “In the darkness the noises of the forest scare me. But mother is with us and she is never scared. We close our eyes and finally fall asleep.” These words are set against a scene in which the children sleep in their mother’s arms while she lies wide awake, and in tears. Over and over the emotional weight of the story is conveyed through affecting, sometimes heart-rending images juxtaposed with the voice of innocence. “I hope one day … we will find a new home. A home where we can be safe and begin our story again.” There is no geographic specificity stated, but the journey from western Asia to Europe is implied in an account that includes many means of travel, tense moments of hiding, a secret border crossing, a crowded ferry, and travel by train beneath free-flying birds across many more borders in search of safety--a need that all children can understand. ©2016 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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