Tomorrow ISBN: 9781911373438
Published by Lantana Publishing, 2018
This remarkable picture book is aimed at all ages, and while it is not about a refuge child, it is about one who is suffering from the bombings and chaos in Syria. Yazan doesn't understand why he never goes to the park any more, why he never sees his next door chum, why his parents turn up the TV and watch the news all the time. He wonders why his mum, who always loved painting with him, never paints now. He is bored and even misses going to school, which, as he says, 'was a surprise'. In sheer boredom, he finally gets his bicycle out and even though he sees that the streets are empty and that there are sounds of serious explosions all around he starts out. He doesn't get far before his father finds him and takes him home. He mustn't go out again - ever - but his mum takes her paints, and on the walls of his room they paint a lovely park where he can pretend to ride his bike. The illustrations are outstanding and very sophisticated, full of architectural details of buildings and people dressed as buildings, with lots of darkness and some brightness. For older children, this could not be a better way of explaining what it must be like for children to be immersed in a war that they cannot understand and to have to follow rules they have never followed before. The author/illustrator experienced these things in her home of Damascus, and she knows whereof she speaks. We can all only hope that Syrian children will soon be able to enjoy the world again.