Mexique: A Refugee Story from the Spanish Civil War
A young child traveling on the ship Mexique isn’t sure where she’s going, but knows it is far away and that she’ll stay for a few months, which her mother compared to an “an extra-long summer vacation” during a goodbye hug. She’s one of 456 children on board without parents, but an older girl named Clara takes care of her. The children, who are white, imagine where they are going, and sometimes at night they cry. They dream “the houses are crumbling, and their memories are blank.” A crowd waving white handkerchiefs greets them on arrival, and they disembark, believing that they’ve left the war behind them. The child’s uncertainty and hope, and a sense of experiencing while not necessarily comprehending, are all imbedded in the distinctive voice of the narrative, while the sophisticated, mostly sepia-toned illustrations emphasize a sense of foreboding and fear. An afterword offers additional information about the children of Spanish Republicans aboard the Mexique, who were sent as refugees to Mexico during the Spanish Civil War. Their anticipated short stay became a permanent exile, with most remaining permanently in Mexico. ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Translated by Elisa Amado. Translated from the Spanish. Originally published in Mexico.
Publish Year: 2020
CCBC Location: Picture Book, Ferrada