by Gabiann Marin and illustrated by Jacqui Grantford
(New Frontier Publishing Frenchs Forest NSW Australia 2007)
peace with ourselves-peace with each other
recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library
The reasons are varied as to why people leave their home countries and risk travelling to foreign lands hoping for refuge. For Zallah, the long journey by boat brought unexpected sickness and surprises. Her mother remained near and promised that soon all would be well. This stirring and thought provoking story is for all ages to enjoy and share together contains many peace-building elements:
Zallah encountered many new faces once she arrived in the new land and was placed behind fences and locked gates. The promise her mother made about having a new life was not a concept she could understand. She heard a new language and became friends with a man whose skin was black and he told he he would soon become a true person. As Zallah learns to feel safe and comfortable with all the new people and ideas with whom she must deal the reader begins to appreciate the feelings this small child experiences. Believing she would never become a true person Zallah's mother told her:
“No Zallah, to be a true person all you need are eyes that see you and hearts that love you."
This story honours the spirit of all refugees and asylum seekers but especially those who often escape from their dangerous homelands with only the clothes on their backs for the sake of their children. Although this story presents obvious political issues it focusses the reader's attention upon the powerful impact of detention upon children yet provides a happy win-win ending. The illustrations cleverly introduce the reader to Zallah allowing the reader to clearly see through her eyes.
Critical questions to explore with children
Creative questions to explore with children
© Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation July 2007