I learned of the existence of this poignant, relevant book while reading the Toronto-based blog, Pickle Me This (link below).
The story is of Rama and her family who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village in Syria to escape the ravages of the civil war. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama’s family sets out to walk to safety in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr’s stunning stone compositions illustrate the story.
How someone can evoke emotion through the arrangement of small stones is beyond extraordinary. A perfect example of why the world needs artists.
Here’s the book description from the book website 49th Shelf (link below) – “This unique picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance by Canadian children’s writer Margriet Ruurs. The author was immediately impressed by the strong narrative quality of Mr. Badr’s work, and, using many of Mr. Badr’s already-created pieces, she set out to create a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr’s stunning stone images illustrate the story.”
Kerry Clare from Pickle Me This writes “They join, “A river of strangers in search of a place to be free, to live and laugh, to love again. In search of a place where bombs did not fall, where people did not die on their way to market. A river of people in search of peace.” The author’s text also appears on the page in Arabic, translated by Falah Raheem, making the book accessible to more readers and bring another player into this gorgeous literary transnational collaboration, a book that is very much of this moment and yet timeless at once.”
If you purchase this book, proceeds will be donated to an organization supporting refugees.