Idris is a refugee child, living in a world of shadows and barriers. This is the only life he knows. One day, the Wisp arrives on the evening wind, unnoticed by everyone, but Idris. For those who hold it, the Wisp evokes memories, reawakening hope and joy. For Idris who has known nothing but life in this camp, there are no memories to stir, yet he realises that for him it offers promise of change, a promise for the future.
Breathtakingly beautiful, ‘The Wisp’ is an extraordinary picture book. Hope is at the heart of the story; whatever the wisp might be- a message, a story, a secret, protest, solidarity- it offers the dream of a better future as well as the joy of memories, the importance of preserving what makes each person individual.
Full of imagery, the language used throughout the book is as stunning as the illustrations.
A swelling sea of rememberings twirled on the air and shimmered in the breeze
Idris tasted the pull of the moonlight and explored the soft scent of new knowings.
The story challenges the reader to think about refugees as real people who have past lives and hopes for the future. It challenges them to think of the darkness of the ‘small, small world’ refugees live in. It challenges them to see the individual.
The illustrations are so evocative, cleverly using colour to mirror the mood of the story and those in it. The whole book is simply captivating and offers plenty of opportunity for discussions about refugees and hope for change.
Wisp: A Story of Hope Zana Fraillon, illustrated by Grahame Baker- Smith
Hachette ISBN: 978- 1408350119