Salih by Inda Ahmad Zahri & Anne Ryan (Ford St)

Can you imagine the plight of a refugee? How do you explain their journey, their reality to a child?

The media images are too scary and with your own words you may wonder what to say. Yet, the story of refugees who flee from conflict ridden lands in search of new life is such an important conversation that will instill awareness and empathy in young minds.

You can do that with a good book.

Inda Ahmad Zahri tells the story of Salih, a little boy who carries his home on his back like a turtle. She shows us that Salih is just like us. He has fond memories of times spent at the park, school and home. These memories are all he’s got as he flees, with others, leaving his whole world behind.

But hope blossoms in the refugee camps when an old man shows Salih how to paint. Salih captures his friends memories. More people come and paint. Salih gathers these memories into bottles.

I feel like these paintings help fuel thier journey forward. Anne Ryan’s emotive art work is gripping. I love the pages which depict the journey through the raging sea.

The sea does calm down and land appears with all their hopes of what lies ahead. Salih and his family wish for love and kindness as they hope to build new lives on the new shore.

The inscription on the dedication page is the perfect take home message for this book. Know and feel Salih’s story and share your kindness.

I hope you’ll get a copy of Salih by Inda Ahmad Zahri & Anne Ryan, published by Ford St Publishing.

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