Tomorrow, from Nadine Kaadan, is a touching emphatic picture book about the effect of war on everyday lives. On childrens’ lives.
On the opening double spread we learn that Yazan no longer goes to the park, or even to his friend. His friend only lives next door. Yazan’s fear and isolation is captured acutely on this spread, with Yazan huddled in the corner of his room. The window, representing outside, glows brightly, yet it’s far from Yazan’s eye line, and stands out against the muted colours of the rest of the page.
We learn that his mother used to paint – glorious paintings that made them both happy. But now she is glued to the TV in one of the most powerful spreads in the book, using shadowy images to depict the gloomy news being broadcast.
Kaadan’s artwork is stunning. Capturing mood so brilliantly she convey’s her characters emotions through every paint stroke.
But the frustration and dilemma at the heart of the story comes from Yazan’s simple desire to go outside. To do normal things. When he does so, his parents are forced to realise how confusing it has become for Yazan, and they set about trying to make things better for him… within the confines of the situation they are in… a war.
Tomorrow is a book about the impact of a war on everyday lives. How things change so rapidly, with little explanation, and how things that were once taken for granted – going to school, playing in the street – can be taken away so quickly. Tomorrow is a thought-provoking, compassionate story that shows the power of art.