Boundless Sky

Lantana. Mar. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781911373674.
PreS-Gr 2–Every year Bird flies from her winter home in England to her summer home in Africa. Bird’s long journey over oceans, mountains, deserts, and grasslands is buoyed by the children she passes each year along the way. But on Bird’s journey back to England, one child is missing: Leila, a girl depicted with brown skin and a turquoise headscarf. Her once bustling desert village is abandoned. As Bird flies across the stormy ocean, so too does a small, shadowy boat. Finally, Bird lands back in the U.K., and Leila greets Bird from her new garden. Leila’s neighbor smiles, “Hello Bird. Hello Leila. Welcome everyone!” Parallels are drawn between Bird and Leila’s journeys, although educators may have to step in to differentiate between natural bird migration and human refugees. Delicate pencil lines combined with digital techniques and a muted green and blue color palette depict people and Bird against a panoramic canvas of vast skies, stormy seas, fluttering butterflies, and mountain towns. Adreani’s playful use of angles creates unusual, eye-catching perspectives. Bird’s journey is plotted on a map, however the map lacks helpful symbols or textual supports, such as country names or a legend.
VERDICT For libraries looking to expand their collection of picture books that include refugee characters.

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