Story boat

Kyo Maclear, 1970-

Book - 2020

"When a little girl and her younger brother are forced along with their family to flee the home they've always known, they must learn to make a new home for themselves--wherever they are. And sometimes the smallest things-- a cup, a blanket, a lamp, a flower, a story--can become a port of hope in a terrible storm. As the refugees travel onward toward an uncertain future, they are buoyed up by their hopes, dreams and the stories they tell--a story that will carry them perpetually forward."

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Children's stories Pictorial works
Picture books
New York : Tundra Books [2020]
Main Author
Kyo Maclear, 1970- (author)
Other Authors
Rashin Kheiriyeh (illustrator)
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Issued also in electronic format
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Maclear (Operatic) captures in lyrical verse the lives of two young refugees, for whom "here" is a different place every day. In warm, childlike drawings on blue pages, Kheiriyeh (Saffron Ice Cream) portrays a group of people dressed in thick overcoats, their belongings loaded in carts and suitcases, helping each other. A girl in the group speaks to a smaller boy about the few treasured belongings that give meaning to their existence. Their teacup is one: "Every morning,/ As things keep changing,/ We sit wherever we are/ And sip, sip, sip.../ From this cup." A page turn corresponds to a new perception: "And this cup is a home." Kheiriyeh draws the children within the cup underneath a bright orange sun. More cherished objects--the family's blanket ("patterned and soft"), their lamp, a field of flowers--become the children's "here." And as the blanket becomes a sail, the lamp a lighthouse, and so on, the objects combine, becoming a boat that carries everyone over the waves, and a story that takes the group at last to a welcoming place. The creators tell a refugee story in simple language with everyday objects, making it graspable for young readers. Ages 3--7. (Feb.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A poetic distillation of the experience of a group of refugees, always moving from one "here" to another "here."A group of refugees is on a journey, with backpacks, bags, babies, and a cat. It's winter. Some people are sad, and a few women wear loose headscarves. Two children chat along the way about their movement through a quietly surreal landscape. "Here is just here. / Or here. / Here is this cup. / Old and fine, warm as a hug. / Every morning, / As things keep changing, / We sit wherever we are / And sip, sip, sip, / Sippy, sip, sip / Ahhhh / From this cup." The children find home in rituals and tradition, community, objects of warmth and memory, and hope. Maclear and Kheiriyeh brilliantly portray refugees as people first. Their child protagonists, possibly a girl and her young brother, dream, sing, read, write, draweven the cat drawsand make the best of what they have. In the end, the story about their journey becomes the titular boat, which has carried them along. Kheiriyeh uses smudgy lines and a limited palette of orange, black, brown, and white on blue negative space, refugee tent camps giving way to fantastical land- and seascapes the children imagine. The love shared among the group is plain. When they get to their destination, they don't look too different from the few people welcoming themsave hair color.A timely and uplifting book about and for refugees. (Picture book. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.