The Little Refugee
Illustrated by: Bruce Whatley
Pubished by: Allen & Unwin 2011
Ages: 5 – 7 years
Theme: Hope, believe, faith
Opening Lines: I was born in a faraway country called Vietnam. It’s a crazy place – strange food, snakes in bottles, five people squashed onto the back of one little motorbike.
Synopsis: (from Amazon) Anh Do’s inspirational story about his family’s incredible escape from war-torn Vietnam and his childhood in Australia, told especially for children. Giant waves crashed down on our little boat. I was terrified but my mum hugged me tight and told me, “Everything will be okay. Don’t worry, it will be okay.” Anh Do nearly didn’t make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. It was a dangerous journey, with murderous pirates and terrifying storms, but they managed to survive. Life in suburban Australia was also hard for a small boy with no English and funny lunches. But there was a loving extended family, lots of friends, and always something to laugh about for Anh, his brother Khoa, and their sister Tram. And eventually for a young Anh, who tried hard to see the bright side of life no matter what the difficulty, there was triumph. The Little Refugee tells the uplifting and inspiring childhood story of one of Australia’s favorite personalities.
Why I like it: I love historical fiction, or biographical stories and this is no exception. A moving account of fleeing ones own country and building a new life in a strange world. Anh’s true story is an outstanding one to share with young readers. He shows that it is possible to hope against all odds, and that love and family can bring good from any hardship The illustrations are large and clear in colours and pencil. Anh Do is one of Australia’s leading comedians. He has also acted in television series and films, written screenplays and is a sought-after keynote speaker. His unique and inspirational experience leaving Vietnam as a toddler and growing up in Australia is originally told in his bestselling and award-winning memoir, The Happiest Refugee.
Resources/Findings: Here is a reading of the book.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okW724EQhZI
Great Educational website for discussion on Refugees …… http://www.globalwords.edu.au/units/refugees_jpy3_html/pop04.html
A Great Teachers resource…. http://www.refugeeweek.org.au/resources/2012_RW_ResourceKit_Ch5.pdf
More Teachers Resources…. http://www.globalwords.edu.au/units/refugees_jpy3_html/index.html
There are many resources for this story which would encourage discussion about not only refugees, but new kids to the school or area.
Pop over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.