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For the month of September @kidlitpicks is focusing on books about change. Francesca Sanna’s heartbreakingly beautiful picture book The Journey is one of the most stunning stories of change I have ever read. Using minimal poetic text, the story is told through the voice of a child, whose father is taken by war. War is shown as a large black cloud that overtakes half of the illustration.

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The mother is forced to escape with her children, despite the many risks. On the run, the family encounters many difficulties as refugees. From the loss of belongings, with the family having fewer and fewer things to carry, until they have nothing at all, to the dangers of encountering soldiers and menacing guards; the illustrations are incredibly detailed with beautiful imagery. The mother protects her children through everything, guarding them at night with her own body, as tears course down her cheeks.

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Most of the content is portrayed through gripping full color pages, with metaphorical images that stand in for what is truly taking place. Fairy tale like, in its setting, the images are superbly done. Touches of the fantastical are used to engage younger readers with haunting illustrations, bringing home a necessary story of empathy. Refugee and migrant are terms that children may hear on the news, but do not understand, but The Journey illustrates what life is like, with heart. This is a beautiful book that should be read by all ages and goes to the heart of emotions felt by refugees everywhere.

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Day 7 of #fallthebooks is #bookmail or #latestbookpurchase: I bought this book as a way to talk to my son about the many reasons people move to a new country; whether as refugees, through adoption, a hope for a better life, a new job, or school opportunity; moving to a new country comes with a variety of emotions: fear, excitement and great hope.

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Published by Sarah BooksBeforeBandaids