Written without words, Migrants by Issa Watanabe is a book about migrants that will leave an impression on readers of all ages.
The background remains black throughout this story but the characters, animals of all different shapes and sizes exude colour as they roam across the page.
The key theme of this book is of course those seeking a new home – refugees. Those travelling on journeys to find a better life for themselves and their family but having to deal with the constant fear of death, the unknowing of who to trust and the safety of the pathway they are travelling on.
The story begins with a small human or perhaps even death on the back of a large blue water bird embarking on a journey to perhaps watch over the other animals they meet or even to seek our safety itself as we see the main group of animals (in human clothing) sleep outside with little shelter or belongings, pay for a dangerous journey over the sea and then seek out somewhere they will find hope and a new life.
Readers will watch these animals as they endure hardship and loss but then – hope.
This book can be read by children of all ages to gain an understanding of what life is like for those who seek safety – regardless of where that may be or in what form it may look like.
Books without words can also have so much more meaning as readers can determine what they see and what they want to talk about – often finding a lot more than the creator intended and what the teacher may be expecting.
This book can also be linked in to art work and how images can portray a story, how facial expressions and body language can tell us so much without having to explain it.
Migrants by Issa Watanabe is a book to share with children as a springboard into what refugees and migrants are and how we need to see how we can help these people so these journeys are not part of their lives.