Alison Green Books
It’s difficult enough moving home, but having to flee your homeland leaving all your friends behind, to move to a new country as a refugee has challenges like nothing else.
That’s how it is for young Sami who, since his arrival with his family, has become a loner. Everything looks and feels totally different; people don’t speak your home language and it seems as though you just don’t fit.
One day Sami and his mum are visiting the park and watching from the trees is a little bird, all alone too. Suddenly she whizzes downwards smack into Sami. The little creature says she is lost and asks for his help in finding her friends.
Gradually during their search Sami finds that the people he’d previously thought of as standoffish are quite the opposite. The old lady from the bus no longer scowls; rather she smiles offering Sami grain to feed the birds.
Then the baker offers to share his lunch.
Suddenly Sami recalls where it was he’d seen birds just like Little Bird; off they go but in his anxiety and rush to help, Sami ignores the chance to play with a little girl from his nursery.
At the cherry tree Little Bird’s friends are waiting and seemingly it’s job done and time for a farewell. Little Bird thanks Sami, making him feel proud by adding “You’re a very good friend” and flies off with the others leaving the boy alone once more. Until something surprising happens …
It’s then revealed that Little Bird’s mission isn’t over just yet for in this wonderfully heart warming story there are others in situations similar to Sami’s that also need her help.
With its gorgeous colour palette and superbly expressive scenes which show much more than is said in her text, Devon Holzwarth’s debut picture book is one that’s certain to foster empathy and understanding, showing how important it is to offer a welcoming environment to newcomers. It can all begin with holding out a hand (or wing) in friendship.