Thisis a book about a boy and his family who are refugees of an unspecified war. Their whole life has been destroyed except for one book. A book that tells the story of their people and is their most treasured posession.
Margaret Wild is an amazing picture book author because she has a way of telling a story that is very quiet and understated but profoundly moving.
I found myself thinking about this book so often after I finished it, but there are only a couple of sentences on each page. So much of the story is there but unspoken.
My favourite thing about this book are the stunning illustrations by Freya Blackwood. They are collages that use water colour paintings and text torn from books. They are incredibly beautiful, sad and hopeful all at once.
I also love the way Margaret Wild never specifies which war Peter and his family are fleeing, or who ‘our people’ are. It is the story of all displaced people in the world, of the importance of books and their role in preserving knowledge and she doesn’t let anything detract from that.
In an age where so many things are digital this book seems very timely. It's hard to imagine anyone leaving their suitcase behind in order to save their kindle!
This book is so poignant – sad but full of hope. It truly brought tears to my eyes.
Who’ll love this: Grown-ups, teachers, lovers of books, people who have been separated from their home, and kids aged about 5 to 8.
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia