Whatever I was expecting when I picked this book up, Francesca Sanna completely exceeded them. I’d like to add this as a read-a-like to Why? (Nikolai Popov) and The Terrible Things (Eve Bunting), which I wrote about earlier, in that the reader is not spared for even a moment some of the experiences of refugees and migrants, and all of the authors do a spectacular job of opening up conversation about these heavier topics.
I’ll just quote Sanna’s blurb on her inspiration for writing The Journey:
The Journey is actually a story about many journeys, and it began with the story of two girls I met in a refugee center in Italy. After meeting them I realized that behind their journey lay something very powerful. So I began collecting more stories of migration and interviewing many people from many different countries. A few months later, in September 2014, when I started studying a Master of Arts in Illustration at the Academy of Lucerne, I knew I wanted to create a book about these true stories. Almost every day on the news we hear the terms “migrants” and “refugees” but we rarely ever speak to or hear the personal journeys that they have had to take. This book is a collage of all those personal stories and the incredible strength of the people within them.
I hope you pick up this book and go on a journey of your own through the story, because both the text and the illustrations complement each other well, making for an experience you won’t soon forget. Find below the cut some more suggested reads from the junior section about immigrant experiences, and displacement.
I don’t think I’ve ever consumed an entire series as quickly as I did this one: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. (The Chronicles of Narnia are a very close second, because I inhaled those as well, though in light of a recent rereading, I would have to put the Incorrigibles at the top.*) To be perfectly honest, I only learned of it and picked it up because they’re illustrated by none other than Jon Klassen, but I’m so glad I did!
The series is a delightfully written mystery that will keep you making connections between all the little details Wood drops left and right at every turn, whether it be the mysterious howling on Ashton grounds or the oddly coincidental wolf theme popping up at the bequest of a certain…. A.? Wood keeps you guessing with every book at how things are connected: was it really just a chance ad in the papers that got Penelope Lumley working for the Ashtons? Were the Incorrigibles actually raised by wolves? And what’s with Old Timothy? Just whence does Penelope Lumley’s seemingly infinite pluck come?
I won’t go too much into detail because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but Wood definitely keeps you on your toes and grabbing for the next installment. I personally quite enjoyed the asides, along with the fast pace and wit, but where I think Wood really excels is where this series has something to appeal to a variety of age groups. (The last book in the series, The Long-Lost Home, is set for release next June, and we’ve placed it on order, so beat the lines and put yourself on the waiting list now!)
EDIT: Take a look at the Vaughan Public Libraries COLOURING PAGES. Each branch has its own colouring sheets that portray a distinctive feature of the library, and you can print out and colour them in via that link! We would love to see your completed colourings!
I haven’t really played spot-the-whatever games for a while now (probably since Where’s Waldo as a child, and even then not much), and whenever I have encountered them as an adult, I’ve found them to be a bit too easy to complete to truly engage with. This one though, is a treasure. Search and Spot: Animals! will keep you entertained (or frustrated) for maybe not quite hours, but at least a good half hour or so! And considering it’s a pretty slim book, I’d say it’s an amazing payoff. It really depends on how easily you can spot the animals, but I personally found it surprisingly difficult, which in turn made the experience surprisingly fun. I’d always get to, say, 9 out of 10 animals before having to start all over again because – fiddlesticks! I’ve gone through the entire 2-page spread, systematically, already! Or there’ll come a point where I start forgetting which of the insects I’ve found and which I haven’t, and, hey doesn’t this look like that insect? No, no, the pink part of its body is in another spot, and haven’t I already found it somewhere up here on the page? Now where’d that go?! Even the cover is a session of find-the-8-rabbits!
This is filed away under our junior section, but in light of the recent boom (or maybe not-so-recent? I don’t remember when those actually became popular…) of adult colouring books, I thought I should highlight these for all ages so we can satisfy our inner children!