Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Story Like the Wind by Gill Lewis and Jo Weaver (Oxford Children's Books)

Prepare to be stunned, touched and entirely wrapped up in this utterly amazing book...
Gill Lewis' "A Story Like the Wind" with illustrations by Jo Weaver is truly something else.

In fact it's one of those books that has you thinking about its story often in quiet moments for a very long time after you've turned the last page. Which is no bad thing as this is the sort of story you really hope finds its way into a lot of young hands.

Gill's response to the refugee crisis is a poetic, lyrical and yet heartfelt plea to recognise the plight of the millions who have fled their home countries in search of a better and safer life elsewhere, often risking their own lives in the process.

The tale unfolds as a small group of refugees crowd on to a boat before heading out into the dark open seas. 

They try to keep their spirits high, sharing their stories as the boat travels towards the dream of safety and freedom. 

One of the refugees is a young boy, Rami. Stripped of all his possessions bar one - he has brought his violin, and his story of how the violin was invented, and of a stallion that could run like the wind, weaves through the other stories, bringing them all together into a celebration of hope and of the power of music and shared fables.

Unusually, the book sets out its table like a chapter novel - but with highly atmospheric and brilliant illustrations drawing you into the tales as they unfurl...

A small crowded boat bobs on the dark moonlit ocean. Dreams of safety, of refuge, a new home. 
It's reminiscent of the best work of Michael Morpurgo, fully immersive and will keep young children spellbound - and hopefully have them asking questions about why this sort of thing is still happening, still being allowed to continue, and why children as young as - if not younger - than they are will risk everything along with their families to flee war torn countries in search of something better. 

A truly exceptional book. Do not miss it. 

"A Story Like the Wind" by Gill Lewis and Jo Weaver is out now, published by Oxford Children's Books / OUP (Kindly supplied for review). 

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