Having loved 'Refuge' from the moment I bought it, I reviewed it last year, read it in school and bought it for several friends! I was delighted to hear the news in this report- and hope sales continue to be excellent for the paperback!
On 6th October 2016, multi-award winning independent children’s publisher, Nosy Crow, will publish the paperback edition of Refuge, which has so far raised £30,000 for the charity 'War Child'.
Refuge is a retelling of the Christmas story, but one with a difference: the focus of this short, lyrical picture book is that, after the birth of Jesus, the family become refugees from Herod’s soldiers as they make their way to safety in Egypt. To emphasise the parallels with refugees around the world, the story is told from the point of view of a donkey that travels with them: to the donkey, they are just a ‘man’, ‘woman’ and ‘child’. The intention of the book is to help parents with young children broach the difficult subject of the refugee crisis as children begin asking questions about the news pictures they see of boys and girls their own age in unimaginable circumstances.
The hardback edition of Refuge, written by Anne Booth and illustrated by Sam Usher, was published on 12th November 2015, just seven weeks after Anne Booth’s story arrived at the publisher’s office. Anne Booth and Sam Usher waived royalties, and Nosy Crow ensured £5 from each copy sold was donated to 'War Child', by taking no profit, and asking suppliers and booksellers to take no profit or minimise costs.
The book sold out the 6,000 copies printed in two weeks, raising £30,000 for 'War Child'.
For every copy of the paperback sold, Nosy Crow will donate £1 to 'War Child', and the publisher aims to keep the book in print and the donations to 'War Child' coming as the book becomes a new Christmas classic.
Anne Booth said about the book: “Whenever I think about refugees, I think about what happened directly after the first Christmas. I hoped that retelling this part of the story would help people empathise with refugees today. I’m delighted Nosy Crow and War Child agreed.”
Just before illustrating the book, Sam Usher had visited the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais travelling with a friend who was delivering supplies to refugees, and saw for himself the misery of the refugees there.
Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow, said: “In a 30-year career in publishing, and having published books as diverse as The Gruffalo and Horrible Histories, Refuge is one of the books I am most proud of. Anne’s story, complemented by Sam’s beautiful illustrations, is a simple way to help children understand what it might mean to be a refugee by linking it to a story that is familiar to so many of us, particularly as we begin to think about Christmas. Publishing Refuge in paperback gives us a sustainable way of communicating the message and continuing to support the excellent work of 'War Child'.”
Rob Williams of 'War Child' said: “Every day one in every 200 children wakes as a refugeehaving been forced to flee their homeland. In this new book, which beautifully adapts the nativity story to a setting of today’s refugee crisis, readers can find a message of hope about a vulnerable family that is met with kindness and warmth. 'War Child' supports more than 125,000 children and their families around the world who have been affected by conflict, often providing the much needed support and refuge. We’re delighted that this book has already made so much for us and I’d like to thank Nosy Crow for their generosity in helping and would encourage every family to add this to their Christmas wish list.”
Refuge is published in paperback on 6 October at £7.99.