The Day War Came is a powerful, moving picture book from Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb.
Their picture book opens on what many would recognise as a normal day, and is all the more powerful for that. Flowers are on the window sill, Dad is helping baby brother get to sleep, Mum makes breakfast and they head off to school where songs are sung and pictures are drawn.
“Then, just after lunch, war came.”
The school is destroyed. Our narrator’s confusion is powerfully conveyed, by the illustrations and narrative, as she tells us how the war took everything. Everyone. She is alone and scared.
Davies and Cobb take us on our little narrator’s journey – through roads and mountains, in the back of trucks and on boats that nearly sink. She is quite alone as she enters the refugee camp. But the camp reminds her of the war, and this little girl just wants to escape that – to find a reality away from the remnants of war… and so she goes looking.
The narrative and powerful illustrations, capture the reaction she gets from other people as she walks down a beautiful street. They don’t want to know. When she stumbles upon a vibrant school, full of learning and everything that she remembers from before, her hopes lift…. until she is told there are not enough chairs.
When all hope is lost, kindness comes. This is a book to melt your heart, and show how we can all show kindness and compassion towards the real person behind their circumstances. The Day War Came is an absolute must read, and needs to be stocked in all classrooms.
The narrative of The Day War Came began life as a poem. A poem written by Nicola Davies in response to the government’s refusal to allow 3000 child refugees to enter the UK in 2016.
£1 from every copy sold will go to the charity Help Refugees.