This is a moving and thought-provoking illustrated story dedicated to Syrian childrenfaced with anxiety and fear during the Syrian civil war. But it’s a powerful tale that will resonate with all readers, particularly those who have never considered what it is like to be a child in a warzone.
Yazen hasn’t been to school for weeks, and he can’t even go out and play with his friends or ride his bike. His artist mum no longer draws with him and his dad hardly pays him any attention –both just stare at the news on the TV or on the phone, trying to work out what is going on in their city plagued by war. Frustrated, Yazen escapes from the house with his bike, but when he sets foot outside he no longer recognizes the world around him, with bombed out shells of houses and terrifying noises and smoke all around. His father rushes out to find him and his mother, realizing that Yazen needs her attention, her comfort, and her support, gets out her paintbrushes for her and Yazen to paint a playground mural inside their house.
The story is simple but compelling and the dizzying illustrations keenly convey the fear and the frustration of a child trapped inside, surrounded by conflict.
SeeingNadine running her inspiring storytelling and art workshops for children,I’veseen first-hand how much interest there is among children, parents and teachers in Tomorrow. It’s the perfect book with which to explore a child’s experience of war and works as a great starting point for a discussion of the global refugee crisis in the classroom or at home.
Although inspired by Nadine’s own experience of the Syrian civil war, the location is not named in the book. The story prompts a universal discussion of conflict and the impact it has on children, on their freedom to play and their right to education, not to mention the strain on family dynamics. It also brings a message of hope: while we cannot control our futures, or what is going on outside, when there is love there is strength.
32 pages 978-1911373438 Ages 4-8
Recommended by: Nuri al-Khalaf on Global Literature in Libraries Initiative
To see more of the recommendations from Global Literature in Libraries Initiative: https://glli-us.org/2018/02/14/tomorrow/
Editor's note: This book is originally published in Arabic and is now coming out in English in September 2018.
Yazan no longer goes to the park to play, and he no longer sees his friend who lives next door. Everything around him is changing. His parents sit in front of the television with the news turned up LOUD and Yazan's little red bike leans forgotten against the wall. Will he ever be able to go outside and play? An uplifting story about a courageous little boy growing up in a time of conflict, and the strength of family love.--from the publisher