Everything wishes for something. ‘The night wished it was quieter. The bag wished it was deeper. The light wished it was brighter.’ One little girl wishes she didn’t have to leave home but not all wishes come true. Maybe one day there won’t be the need to wish for anything anymore…
Inspired by the author’s own family, Wishes is a powerful, captivating and timeless story that encapsulates the heartache, the hopes, the sacrifices, the dangers and the courage that are felt when one becomes a refugee. Told through the eyes of a young girl, we follow a family as they pack up everything they have, or more accurately, everything they can carry, board a crowded wooden boat, travel across vast oceans under the searing sun and head to a new and unfamiliar place in search of somewhere safe to call home.
The experience of the young child is raw, honest and heartfelt. The look of worry on the face, the sadness in the eyes, the tears that fall, the sheer release of it all once the journey is over, the joy and happiness of finally arriving somewhere new. It is difficult, even as an adult, to fully appreciate and understand how much change and upheaval this child experiences, it feels overwhelming, confusing, too much.
The minimal text - it is incredible that such a heart-wrenching and gut-punching story can be delivered in so few words - and striking illustrations truly reflect the refugee experience and tell an all too familiar tale that will rouse strong feelings and emotions in readers. Every single page is achingly beautiful and each deserves to digested slowly, to take in the scene, to feel what the protagonists are feeling.
Raw and honest, this is a book that will speak to children of all ages. We are all responsible for helping create a kinder, fairer and more supportive world and Wishes will inspire important conversations. It will help develop understanding and empathy as to why people choose to leave everything behind and what can be done to help those that feel the need to escape the place they call home.
Another essential picture book about the experiences of immigrants.
Recommended for 6+.