Publisher: Scholastic

It’s evening time, and a little girl watches her family packing and preparing to leave their village forever for a new life in another country. Sadly, the girl watches her mother pray for luck on the journey and, even sadder, say goodbye to her dog and her grandfather, who she may never see again.

Boarding a tiny wooden rowing boat with what seems like too many other people, the girl, her mother and her brothers and sisters set off on their perilous journey, through harsh storms and boiling hot sun, hoping that they will live to see their destination.

A story expressed in muted colour and with a wonderful focus on the small details of this Vietnamese family’s life as they prepare for a perilous journey, Wishes is a deeply moving story told with very minimal text about a child’s experience of being a refugee. Victo Ngai’s illustration is some of the best out there, capturing emotion and drama in a series of utterly breathtaking double page spreads.

A stunning, emotional read which could be used in the classroom, as well as at home, to inspire conversations about refugees, seeking asylum and immigration with children.

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