Robert Vescio (text) and Andrea Edmonds (illustrator), The Voyage, EK Books, September 2019, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk) ISBN 9781925820034
This story describes the journey of a refugee, from their lost homeland to their new home. It unusually contains just 14 words, one descriptor for each double page spread. Beginning with “chaos”; the eye of the viewer takes in explosions, buildings collapsing, people running with bundles and our family fleeing into the bottom right hand of the page to “escape” in a boat (on the next page). We watch the family travel on and encounter danger at sea before they begin a “new” life.
This is a simplified version with a happy ending, of the very complicated reality of a refugee. The attractive watercolour images by Andrea Edmonds carry the story and keep the young viewer interested. The valuable feature of this book is that children, who are too young to understand the hardships of a refugee can learn about the concept of a family leaving a happy home and making a new one.
This story is a welcome change from other more mature publications on the same theme making it suitable for young readers.
Reviewed by Veronica Forsyth