A family of four in an unnamed country share the pleasures of days at the beach together. But the dark clouds of war soon envelop their homeland and the children's father is killed. Their mother decides that it is time to find a safe place to live and so they pack their meager belongings and begin the long journey.
They travel in various vehicles and drain all their energy trying to reach the border. The children are frightened when the guards there turn them away. They are comforted by their mother who is never scared. They tell stories and are emboldened by them. Their mother provides the love and hope they need to carry on as they sneak across the border in the darkness. They get on a ferry boat where the refugees tell each other stories about where they are going.
Francesca Sanna is an Italian illustrator and graphic designer based in Switzerland. In her first book, she demonstrates a gift for storytelling that touches the emotions of young and old alike. Her bold illustrations have already been lauded with an award of the Gold Medal in the book category by the prestigious Society of Illustrators. Although The Journey has been designated as appropriate for children from ages three to seven years, it is so honest and engaging that older boys and girls will be attracted to it as well.
Here is a quotation from the book that shows how the plight of these refugees connects with the migration of birds:
"I look up to the birds that seem to be following us. They are migrating just like us. And their journey, like ours, is very long, but they don't have to cross any borders."