The Suitcase

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When a stranger arrives one day, bearing only a big suitcase, the other creatures are full of questions. Intrigued by his answers, when he falls asleep they take matters into their own hands and decide to break into his suitcase. Inside, they discover something very special and when the stranger wakes, he finds a wonderful surprise waiting for him.

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This is such a beautiful, moving story, perfect for sharing with any age group. The text is extremely simple, but the story sings loud and clear about the way in which we should treat those in need. Initially suspicious, the animals offer the stranger kindness and support. If only the world were such a place…

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The illustrations are perfect for the story. Most are set again stark white backgrounds, focusing attention firmly on the suitcase and the animals with coloured text showing who is speaking. The spread showing his little wooden cabin on the hillside is in sepia tones, echoing the photograph, allowing the reader to set it in any time or place. Although we don’t know exactly why he left his home, we know the stranger has run away, hidden and undertaken a long difficult journey and this is highlighted by the image of him swimming through a menacing, dark sea, clutching his suitcase.

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There is so much that could be done with this book in school from assemblies to class work to story time reading- it is a real must-have for school and home alike. Perfect for encouraging empathy, ‘The Suitcase’ is moving, heartwarming story, full of hope and kindness.

The Suitcase Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

Nosy Crow ISBN: 978- 1788004480

You can read our review of ‘I’m Going to Eat this Ant’ here and ‘I Love You, Stick Insect’ here.