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Heart-breaking child’s eye view of life below the poverty line
October 2019 Book of the Month
Kate Milner, winner of the 2018 Klaus Flugge Award for most promising newcomer to children’s book illustration has certainly lived up to her laurels with this delicate and subtle picturebook, which packs a real emotional and political punch. It is a cause of great shame to many, in this country and in the 21st century, that more children than ever are living in poverty and that there has been a huge expansion in the use of foodbanks. Mum works really hard and watches every penny, but today is a no money day. Her little girl, who tells the story, takes great pleasure in life from the simple, free activities they share- visits to the library and dressing up in the charity shops. Unlike her humiliated Mum, she loves the visits to the food bank for the drink and biscuits and the kind ladies to talk to. On the way home they play the maybe one day game- dreaming of pets and washing machines and new warm clothes. They go to bed and “because of kind people our tummies are full”. Nothing is laboured in text or image- the colours are subdued but still there. The despair and tiredness of the mother is evident in every expression and nuance of body language, but so is the warmth and love between them and so is the irrepressible spirit of a child who knows they are loved even if as the pictures subtly show us, she is clearly malnourished. This is a book which can be used with a very wide range of children and will encourage empathy and discussion of a very current and appalling crisis in our society.
A Piece of Passion from Ailsa Bathgate, Barrington Stoke Editorial Director “The UK is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and so it can only be a source of shame for our society that rising numbers of people have been forced to use foodbanks to survive. Kate Milner’s beautifully illustrated picture book is carefully crafted to encourage empathy and understanding of the situation many families find themselves in, and it sensitively clears a path to allow discussion of a difficult issue with young children. We hope that this important and moving book will highlight the problem and encourage debate”
A note from the author: “It’s likely that most school classes in this country contain four or five children who sometimes depend on foodbanks to eat. It is also likely that those children experience shame and confusion. They know their parents work very hard but they also know that poor people are generally thought to be lazy and incompetent. It is all desperately unfair. I made It’s A No Money Day to explain to children whose families are lucky enough not to have to use food banks what they are, and how they work. I also want children whose families do have to use them to see their own experience and not feel ashamed. This is a story about a mother and daughter going through a difficult time but I hope they are seen as more than victims. They are sticking together and helping each other, showing resilience, love and humour.”
Mum works really hard, but today there is no money left and no food in the cupboards. Forced to visit the local foodbank, Mum feels ashamed that they have to rely on the kindness of others, but her young daughter can still see all the good in her day like reading and drawing, and even the foodbank. Maybe one day things will be different but for now together they brighten up even the darkest of days.
A moving insight into the sad rise and necessity of foodbanks from the perspective of society's most vulnerable, and an essential book to help develop empathy in younger readers.
Praise for My Name is Not Refugee;
“A much-needed, lovely book for small children which explains the refugee crisis in a simple, child-friendly way” Jacqueline Wilson
“I recommend this beautiful and important book for the little ones in your life” David Walliams
“The illustrations do just what they should allowing the reader ... a chance to imagine and to empathise” Lauren Child
“A hopeful and tenderly drawn debut … which offsets a sad theme with gentle visual humour” Sunday Times
“Helps show readers that children forced from their homes are not just refugees but children just like them” Lily Caprani, UNICEF UK
|Publication date:||15th October 2019|
|Publisher:||Barrington Stoke Ltd|
|Suitable for:||3+ readers, 5+ readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic , Family Issues|
|Recommendations:||Books of the Month, Star Books|
Kate Milner studied Illustration at Central St Martin's before completing the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. Her work has been published in magazines and her illustrations and prints have been shown in London galleries and national touring exhibitions. Kate won the V&A Student Illustration Award in 2016. On winning the Klaus Flugge Prize 2018, Kate Milner said: “I felt absolutely amazed and delighted when I heard that I’d won. I was very, very pleased to be shortlisted but I explained to everyone at the time that there was absolutely no chance of me ...More About Kate Milner