Friday 3 February 2012

34. Ships In The Field by Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro

Ships In The Field by Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro
Published February 2012 Ford Street Publishing

From the publisher:

In a unique collaboration, Susanne and Anna have created a moving and significant picture book, Ships in the Field. It crosses boundaries in a universal recognition that children are part of the journey of war, migration, loss and healing. Through warmth, humour, pathos and story within story, it breaks the silence, engaging children, families and community.

The little girl in this story is the daughter of migrants, who have had to leave their country to escape war.  Her father was a farmer, her mother a teacher, but in this new country her father works in a factory and her mother is a seamstress. Throughout the narrative of the family's day to day life we also see double page spreads of the life her parents left behind. The name of the country they left is not mentioned in the book, the point being I guess, that it doesn't matter where you have come from, everyone who has to leave their country leaves something of themselves behind.  The challenge is, to find yourself again in your new home and finding a way to keep your country with you.

The title is taken from her Papa commenting on what he sees on their drive to the country, 'Look at the ships in the field,' Papa says.  'Papa, you mean sheep.' 'Yes, the ships.'

Who will like this book: Teachers who want a good picture book to use for the Australian Curriculum, particularly History Year 2 (Awareness of family history and community heritage) and Year 6 Australia as a Nation (why people migrated to Australia).
Read it if you like: books that celebrate cultural diversity.

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