Migrations: Open Hearts Open Borders with an introduction from Shaun Tan, is a really interesting book and one that challenged me in a few ways.
In the current political climate, amidst the BREXIT nonsense, the Trump administration and the rise of ever far-right mutterings, it can feel like a complex world and one that can be very anxiety-inducing. Books like Migrations do so much in helping children to understand the migrant crisis and humanises this plight well.
The book is postcard-sized and is a collection of images that were set by children’s book illustrators from across the world for an exhibition entitled Migrations. It aims to support and express solidarity for the many many migrants who face unimaginable danger in their quest to make a better, safer life.
The only stipulation for the illustration was that there would be a bird on one side, and a message on the other. The many many cards that were sent have been made into an installation at the Biennial of Illustrations in Bratislava, Slovakia and has since been displayed in South Africa, Korea and the UK and will continue around the world.
Fifty of the postcards are replicated in this fascinating book and it’s such a positive message about the impact that migration of people can have on the way that cultures and ideas can flow despite the borders and barriers that are put up.
It’s a clever idea and is a really good way to introduce ideas of migration with children. I’ve noted down some ideas for further activities to support this book and it’s one we will look at when we undertake Emma’s migration project in the next few weeks.
- Look at animal migration: why do they migrate?
- Why do humans undertake mass migration; could these issues be similar to animals?
- Look at issues of scarcity of food; comforts such as temperatures and safety
- Map work to look where people are migrating from
- For older children consider the USA/Mexico border issue.
- Do they agree with the building of a wall, why?
- Why is there such an influx via the border?
- Why is such a political issue? It would be interesting to gather statistics about this and compare increase across times in numbers crossing the border.
- What do the newspapers say? Look at a range of newspapers with varying views
- Can children think of anything in their own community that has benefitted as a result of migration to their country?
- Design your own postcard complete with supporting message.
Migrations: Open Hearts Open Borders is published by Otter-Barry Books and the RRP is £9.99 with royalties donated to Amnesty International and International Board on Books for Young People.