The Voyage: Book Review

Displaced by war and conflict,
a refugee family sets ou
t on a voyage into the unknown.

Title: The Voyage
Author: Robert Vescio
Illustrator: Andrea Edmonds
ISBN: 9781925820034          Language: English

Classification: Fiction
Type: Picture Book
Themes: refugees, keywords and meanings, events

What's it about?
Displaced by war and conflict, a refugee family sets out on a voyage into the unknown. Told in only a few words this is the powerful story of a family fleeing their war-torn country and making a dangerous trip across the ocean to a new life in a new land.

The words allow for a high-level of individual interpretation. The illustrations are rich and vivid.


My Thoughts
Due to release on the 1st October 2019 from EK Books.

This book is relevant particularly in Australia as we have such a multicultural society and refugees make up a significant percentage of people making Australia their new home. Where I live, for example, we have a large population of Karen refugees but historically my city has become home to refugees from Germany and Italy as well. Even if a child is not a refugee themselves, there is a high probability that a classmate will be.

This book would work well during Multicultural Children's Book Day celebrations; while MCBD occurs late January, before school returns, it could make a great analogy book for a new year. How? Read on.

"Not all of us flee from a conflict/war in the literal sense,
but many will battle other kinds of battles in their life."

Everyone goes through their own journeys in life. Not all of us flee from a conflict/war in the literal sense, but many will battle other kinds of battles in their life. Kids are no exception. This book has minimal text - it doesn't have sentences, just one word per double-page spread. So with that in mind, I can see this being an introductory activity where each student can create their own one-word story (or page if you're pressed for time and make it into a class book) using either the words in the book or their own. If using their own words you may need to do a brainstorming activity first. I am keen to try this activity with my own children so keep an eye out for a post soon of how that goes!

While I have a younger audience primarily in mind for this book I wouldn't rule out using it with older year levels such as grades 6/7. In their case, it would be more about telling a story either about their own journey or creating a story for younger children (great if your school has a buddy-class system).

Art-wise I think the illustrations are beautiful and could be used to study the balance and composition of design with older students. If doing so, I would highly recommend using it alongside another picture book illustrated by Andrea Edmonds, Visiting You.

I may think of additional activities now that I've had a chance to look at the book after my kids took off with it for a week or so. For now, I recommend the book for preschool/kindy to grade 3 with the possibility of using it with older students as well.

A big thanks to EK Books for the ARC

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