Travel along in this compassionate portrayal of refugees.
The arrival of Francesca Sanna’s first book for kids, The Journey, is incredibly timely. The gorgeously-illustrated and compassionately-told story about refugees and migration was published by Flying Eye Books this fall of 2016. Initially inspired by the stories of two girls she met at a refugee center in Italy, Sanna gathered the stories of migrants from countries around the world and melded them all into her book. The result is full of heart and hope.
The Journey takes kids along as one family travels in search of one basic need — safety. When war breaks out in their home country, the family is forced to flee. The children are frightened by the unknown as they lose their father, and leave their friends, other family members, and most of their possessions behind.
Short text accompanies Sanna’s beautiful illustrations. The images give kids lots to look and think about. Pages brim with details about the refugee children’s lives that readers may recognize in their own lives: they build sand castles on the beach, they embrace favorite toys and animals, they are fearful of shadows and comforted by their mother.
The book ends as the family approaches safety, accompanied by a flock of birds that aren’t bothered by borders. It’s an elegant reminder that we humans are responsible for drawing lines — and we choose what to make of them.