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Customer Reviews

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on 7 April 2003
This is a book about a young boy,Hassan. He has come from Somalia as a refugee. Hassan paints a picture at his new school to communicate his feelings and the lovely colours of home are smudged with the reds and oranges of war. This story then continues to tell of life through Hassan's eyes and gives an appreciation of the difficulty of his circumstances and explains how the family have come to England. My 10 year old loved this book and really apprecaited the content and my 7 year old read the story with tears. It ends on a positve note with colour and hope for Hassan and his family.
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on 27 January 2006
Asylum seekers are so often demonised for political purposes. "Not in my backyard! We can't afford them here! No room!" are all too common cries.
It's easy to forget how much these people, and especially the children, have been through. This book tells in simple language the story of Hassan, who has witnessed things no child should ever see. The clever use of colour, bright and happy for his home, red and black for anger and war, grey and cold for his sadness and loss explains Hassan's moods and feelings where words would fail us. Towards the end of the story, colour and hope begins to return to Hassan's life.
An excellent resource which explains simply what it is like to be a refugee.
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on 22 May 2013
I bought this book to teach my kids (I am a professional childcare provider) about differences. Small children are ready and eager to learn about new things and this story is perfect to support my teaching of different people. The character is a little girl so it's easy for the children to relate to her. I have put 5 stars because the book was an ex-library book, so although it shows (the book is not in mint condition and the library card is still inside), I think it's a great way to recycle older books.
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on 18 October 2009
Used this book with my Year 3 class - they liked the story and loved the colourful illustrations. Highly recommended.
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on 16 April 2013
I bought this for a group of 11 year old children with communication difficulties to help them understand a programme I was running in their class about asylum seekers and refugees. I was slightly worried that the illustrations looked like the child was in an infant class although he appeared to be older but the children didn't notice. The story raised lots of questions from all the children and hopefully as a community which hosts newly arrived refugee children helped them understand a bit more about their class mates. Highly recommended.
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on 8 September 2014
A beautiful and moving book, one I look forward to sharing with my daughter when she is a little older and can understand the meaning. Lots of good themes besides the main war/refugee story such as moving house and settling in to a new school and making new friends. A real story of hope.
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on 22 March 2015
My 2 and a half year old is an avid reader (obviously not herself but she loves books) and I thought I was pretty safe picking books at random (a quick in and out before my daughter starts wanting to run amok and my baby starts screaming from being in one place for too long) from the children's section within our local library. Until I came across this one. It started out just fine. A young boy starting at a new school not able to communicate with his peers as he didn't speak much English. My daughter and I were discussing it back and forth between us. So the teacher asked him to paint a picture. And he did. Of his old house in Somalia. And stick characters for all his family members. Then the man with the gun. Firing bullets at his uncle. And his uncle covered in red. Until he then scrubbed him out. Obviously by this point I'd stopped reading it ad verbatim. And I was trying to gloss over it but am terrible at making things up. And my heart was in my mouth as the story kept unfolding. This book is why I found myself requesting the library staff review it for it's suitability for young children irrespective of how many awards it's won, on a Saturday afternoon before I then speed read thirty books before bringing them home. And to think I was worried about witchery. Winnie The Witch I didn't speed read as I deem it to be perfectly safe. They have contained no guns, murder or death so far to contend with at bedtime.
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on 23 February 2014
Very moving story which deals with a harrowing topic with delicacy. My class of year 2 children were very engaged with the idea and we used it to think about different lives around the world.
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on 13 July 2014
Love this story. Very thought provoking.
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