by Nadia Wheatley and Armin Greder
A man, a woman, a baby and a donkey. A perfect time of year for this book! But this one does not have such a happy ending.
I bought Flight on one of my book buying trips thinking it was a black and white version of the traditional Christian Christmas tale. Reviwers Sam, Tara and Scott were helping me on a stall a week ago and they told me they had been read this book at school, it was about refugees and it was amazing. “You should read it!” they said. And so I did.
Really I should have read the back instead of looking at the cover. “Tonight is the night. The family has to flee. They have been tipped off that the authorities are after their blood.’ This is not a beautiful story, but it is a relevant one for many families in the world today. Forced to flee their home, a husband and wife travel with their baby across the desert to find safety and to avoid the authorities. Both the story and the pictures tell of their journey, and I had to say at the journey’s end I cried.
Although this story deals with modern day refugees, it hits the target so many levels. The parallel with The Christmas Story makes it easy to follow but also makes it all the more heartbreaking. It also tells the story of so many refugees through the ages, but with a modern twist. It is thought provoking, but done with such a lightness of touch that you get lost in the story and do not really think about the wider aspects until you reach the end.
This is not a picture book for babies, it is defiantly aimed at older children. Adults too will get much from this story. I have asked myself if this really something children would like because it deals with some quite emotive issues? But I already had my answer from Tara who said “Isn’t that that cool book we read in library?” The boys agreed it was cool and they all said I should read it. So there is your answer. If you are looking for a book for your family for Christmas, this is one I would definitely recommend.