“A book to share with a lump in your throat and an ache in your heart until the beauty and hope of the very last page… an important Christmas book.”
— Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate
Anne Booth’s gentle narrative re tells the traditional Christmas story in a deceptively simple, and wonderfully powerful, manner.
This is the story of a family – man, woman and baby – seeking refuge, seeking the kindness of others. They are fleeing danger, they are fleeing unkindness. They rely on ‘the kindness of strangers’, on their thoughtfulness, simply in order to survive, to have a roof over their heads and be allowed to continue living their lives as a family. Together. Safe.
The parallels with the current refugee crisis are clear, as is Anne Booth’s intention. Refuge has humanised the many images occupying the media,
‘Whenever I think about refugees I think about what happened directly after the first Christmas.’ Anne Booth
Booth’s delicate narrative, ‘his sweet baby breath,’ ‘he sleepily nuzzled her neck’ are accompanied by Sam Usher’s evocative illustrations.
Each page is filled with delicate pen, ink and gouache images, in muted tones, depicting the family’s journey. A splash of warm orange when the family find their refuge is inspired.
Refuge is beautifully told, wonderfully illustrated.