One day there comes a weary, wan and dusty looking stranger dragging behind him a large suitcase. Challenged by a watching bird as to the contents of his suitcase, the creature answers, ’Well, there’s a teacup.’
Another animal arrives on the scene expressing surprise at the size of the case in relation to a teacup and is told that it also contains a table for the cup and a wooden chair for the stranger to sit on. Up rocks a fox and on hearing what’s being said, implies the stranger is lying.
This prompts him to fill in further details about a wooden cabin with a kitchen or making tea and to describe its surrounding landscape too.
By now the creature is so exhausted he begs to be left alone to rest and falls asleep right away.
The other three creatures discuss things and fox is determined to discover the veracity or not of the information the stranger has given. His friends are less sure that breaking into the case is acceptable but fox goes ahead and the contents of the suitcase is revealed …
The damage is done: still fox insists the stranger lied to them whereas the other two are showing concern.
Meanwhile the slumberer dreams …
And when he wakes up he’s totally surprised at what the others have done …
Audiences will go through the whole gamut of emotions when this heart-rending story is shared, as did this reviewer.
It’s a totally brilliant, brilliantly simple and compelling way of opening up and discussing with little ones the idea of kindness and how we should treat those in need. I love the way the animals and what they say are colour matched and Chris’s portrayal of the characters is superb.
What better book could there be to share with a nursery or foundation stage class during refugee week than this one, offering as it does, hope and the possibility of new friendship.