I first came across Barroux when I found Line of Fire, a book which is both moving and fascinating. Accompanied by Julien Joubert on guitar, I watched Barroux bring this wonderful book to life in the 'Line of Fire son et lumiere' at Hay a couple of years ago. It's a book I would love to use with a class, but feel it is better suited to KS3. His new treasure, Welcome, however, is just begging to be shared in primary (and secondary) classrooms!
Inspired by the current refugee crisis, Welcome promotes acceptance and empathy rather than suspicion and hatred. Illustrations and text work together beautifully to show how the excuses people (or animals!) give are not always the truth but stem from prejudice, fear and ignorance. The book offers the perfect way in for discussions of a global issue and the plight of others in terms which all children can engage with and understand.
However, although tackling a serious topic, there are delightfully humourous moments in Welcome, making it a pleasure to read and enjoy. As I cannot recommend this highly enough, we are planning work based around it at the moment.
Where's the Elephant? and Where's the Starfish? also convey very serious messages about the damage we are doing to our planet with Barroux's light, yet powerful, touch. I have previously reviewed Where's the Elephant?- the review can be found on our bookshelf. Both books are beautifully illustrated, cleverly using colour and minimal text for maximum impact.
Alpha is the emotional story of a young man's journey from the Ivory Coast to France in search of his family.
Poignant, powerful and, in places, painful, this is a wonderful book which we will review at a later date.
So, if you are not familiar with Barroux's work, have a look. You'll not be disappointed!