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Story Boat
Cover of Story Boat
Story Boat
When you have to leave behind almost everything you know, where can you call home? Sometimes home is simply where we are: here. A imaginative, lyrical, unforgettable picture book about the migrant...
When you have to leave behind almost everything you know, where can you call home? Sometimes home is simply where we are: here. A imaginative, lyrical, unforgettable picture book about the migrant...
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  • When you have to leave behind almost everything you know, where can you call home? Sometimes home is simply where we are: here. A imaginative, lyrical, unforgettable picture book about the migrant experience through a child's eyes.
    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.
    This timely, sensitively told story, written by multiple award—winner Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Sendak Fellowship recipient Rashin Kheiriyeh, introduces very young readers in a gentle, non-frightening and ultimately hopeful way to the current refugee crisis.

About the Author-

  • KYO MACLEAR is an essayist, novelist, and children's author. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages and published in over twenty countries. She has earned multiple awards, including a Governor General's Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award, a USBBY Outstanding International Book (Virginia Wolf), the IODE Ontario Jean Throop Award (Yak and Dove), the Trillium Book Award (Birds Art Life), and the White Raven Award (Virginia Wolf and The Liszts). She has received nominations for the Kate Greenaway Medal (The Liszts), several Forest of Reading nominations, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award (The Good Little Book), and the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize (Birds Art Life). Kyo holds a doctorate in environmental humanities and is on faculty at the University of Guelph Creative Writing MFA and the Humber School for Writers.
    RASHIN KHEIRIYEH is an internationally recognized, award-winning illustrator/author, animation director, and painter who has published over seventy children's books in countries such as the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, China, Brazil, India, and Iran. She has received fifty national and international awards
    for the books and animations including recently being winner of the 2017 Sendak Fellow Award. She was also the winner of the Bologna Book Fair six times and the winner of Golden Apple Award at the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB), Slovakia. She has an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Illustration and an MFA in Graphic Design from Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran. She also studied at School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York. She is a lecturer at Department of Art, University of Maryland and has contributed illustrations to the New York Times, Google, and many other publication houses around the world.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 28, 2019
    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.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2019
    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, draw--even the cat draws--and 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 them--save hair color. A timely and uplifting book about and for refugees. (Picture book. 6-10)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    December 1, 2019
    Preschool-G The immigrant's travels are never easy, especially when those leaving flee with urgency. Here the group embarking on their journey includes two children who describe their encounters and what things ease their distress. A familiar cup, especially when it's filled with a hot drink, is comforting. Or a blanket the color of apricots can be enough to feel warm and safe. And children being children, still use their imaginations despite circumstances, with the blanket becoming a boat sail for a teacup craft that takes the children away, even if it's to a refugee camp, where singing can still occur. This is a book that will need explanation, particularly the plight of refugees in general and these people in particular, since there are no stated reasons for the leave-taking. The eye-catching folk-style artwork done primarily in orange, blue, and black places the accent on the humanity and hopefulness of the refugees rather than exhaustion and despair, though that too comes out in a few of the adult faces. This puts a gentle face on a difficult, worsening problem.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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