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My Name is Not Refugee

My Name is Not Refugee

Kate Milner
The Bucket List
ISBN: 9781911370062

Winner of the Klaus Flugge prize 2018, Milner has created a simple yet poignant picture book outlining a sensitive and very current issue for young children; life as a refugee

The story begins with a young boy's mother explaining that they will need to leave their town and travel to a safe place. We then follow the pair on their journey to find a new life in another country. During their journey, the boy's mother delicately explains the new things they will encounter along the way, such as sleeping in strange places, trying new foods and hearing words they just don't understand.

The simple line drawings, with a limited colour pallet, accompany the text beautifully, making it easily accessible to young children.

Alongside the story on each double page spread there are questions for young children to discuss, helping children to understand the refugee crisis and the obstacles these young children have to overcome. These are presented in a simple, child friendly way, directly relatable for young readers such as how far could you walk? What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?

There are lots of prompts for discussion throughout this book, making it a fantastic text to share with both primary key stages. The text is sparse, allowing for the teacher/reader to tread a little lighter with KS1 children (maybe) and delve into more in depth conversations with upper KS2. Though I would say KS1 children in most cases would not be able to access this story on their own. It will take some explaining/leading by an adult into the discussion of key concepts for children to understand it well.

As we are a School of Sanctuary, as well as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School, picture books like this are invaluable as a way of discussing and sharing our values with the children; the importance of creating a safe place for children seeking sanctuary.

This book will promote empathy, compassion and understanding in the young children you share it with.

Picture book / Ages 5-10 years / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher


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