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May 2019 Book of the Month
Starring four little animals that children will be quick to identify with, The Suitcase is a touching story about friendship and an excellent way to start conversations about how we respond to people we don’t know and the importance of kindness. A stranger arrives pulling a suitcase and tells the other animals that inside is his home. Curious – and suspicious too – they force it open while he’s asleep and dreaming of his long journey. Inside the animals find a teacup – now broken – and a photo of a small house. The image of the broken teacup is upsetting and young readers will be happy to see the animals’ response and how they find ways to make the stranger their friend. The message here is powerful and profound and beautifully served by the simplicity of the telling.
A message from the author, Chris Naylor-Ballesteros; ‘The Suitcase is about friendship – old and new. And how it can blossom where you least expect it. It’s about recognising that when someone is in need and we are in a position to help, then that’s what we should do, even if it means overcoming our fears and distrust. When we do that, something wonderful might happen – the unknown and mysterious other, the peculiar stranger with seemingly tall tales can enrich and enlighten our world, and hopefully we can do the same for theirs.’
When a strange-looking animal arrives pulling a big suitcase, the other animals are curious. What on earth could be inside that suitcase? A teacup? Maybe. A table and chair? Perhaps. A whole home and hillside with trees? This stranger must be fibbing! But when the animals break into the suitcase and discover a very special photograph, they begin to understand what the strange creature has been through, and together they create a very special welcome present . . .
"At a time when over 65 million people are forcibly displaced around the world, this beautifully illustrated and wise, gentle tale of tolerance and kindness for fellow humans resonates deeply. I hope all parents share The Suitcase with their children.” – Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
“We slip so easily into being tribal, into being suspicious of people who seem different to us. The Suitcase gently and powerfully explores the transformation that comes when we manage to open our minds and hearts.” – Miranda McKearney OBE, Empathy Lab
“Written in response to the refugee crisis, this empathetic, timely story is an excellent way of exploring the issue with young children.” – Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
“A sweet, gentle introduction to the idea of what home is, and that maybe home is something we bring with us.” – Margaret Wallace-Jones, The Alligator’s Mouth
"A simple, powerful way to introduce the idea of kindness to strangers to young children." Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo
"Welcome and understanding are at the heart of this children’s book by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. . . beautifully illustrated." Laura Padoan, spokesperson for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
"One of the most empathetic children’s books on giving kindness to strangers ever published."Amanda Craig, New Statesman
|Publication date:||2nd May 2019|
|Publisher:||Nosy Crow Ltd|
|Suitable for:||Baby and Toddler, 3+ readers|
|Genres:||Personal Social Health Economic|
|Recommendations:||Books of the Month|
Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is originally from Bradford and studied illustration and graphic design at Bradford College of Art. In 2000 he moved to France where, amongst other things, he was an English teacher before working in newspaper layout and design. When his children were small he realised he loved the picture books he read to them, sometimes even more than his children did - the Picture Book Bug had truly bitten. Chris has since written and illustrated several books and is currently thinking about the next one, probably with a cuppa in hand at home near Limoges. He likes listening to ...More About Chris Naylor-Ballesteros