Every once in awhile I come across a book that seems so important that I just need to add it to my book collection. I have discovered a new favorite:
The Map of Good Memories
written by Fran Nuno and illustrated by Zuzanna Celej
Spanish Title – El Mapa de los Buenos momentos
translated into English by Jon Brokenbrow
Cuento de Luz: 2016
June 20th is World Refugee Day http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/ and never has there been a more urgent need to understand and help those who need to leave their homelands. In this timeless picture book for ages 7-10, we meet Zoe who is preparing to flee her city because of war. She spreads out a map of the city and marks the places that are important to her.
She recounts her memories beginning with her home where she first learned to walk. Then she draws a line from home connecting her school, the library, the bookshop, the park, and more as she remembers special times spent in each place.
The story is sad but ends with the hope that all refugees have to find a home and a better life. I like the fact that a specific location and time are not given making this a book that can be shared in many situations.
This is a book that a parent or teacher can use with young children as they begin to understand the plight of refugees. It also will spur readers to create their own maps of memories. The illustrations are soft and gentle and show the affection that Zoe has for her city. She is sad to go but she takes good memories with her.
My heart is heavy these days as I think of families unnecessarily separated at our border. I have been trying to find a way to help those who are caught and cannot help themselves. Here is a list of ideas put together by Kids in Need of Defense, care of REFORMA, if you would also like to do something to help. Click here: Kids In Need of Defense