Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Voices From The Fringe: Social Justice

The Redemptive Power Of “Here” Ferried by a “Story Boat”

"Story Boat" by Kyo Maclear and Rashin Kheiriyeh.

Myra here.

This is a book that found me at the perfect time. It is the embodiment of our current reading theme, and I anticipate it winning all them awards in the coming year.


Story Boat [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Kyo Maclear Illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh
Published by Tundra Books (2020)
ISBN: 0735263590 (ISBN13: 9780735263598). Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

There are a number of stories that tackle the refugee experience: the migrant existence, the uncertainty, the unpredictability of an existence anchored on movement. Yet, this book, narrated in lyrical text (for which Maclear is known for) that builds up on words and phrases that cumulatively lead to the next stop in one’s journey, and accompanied by art that is both heartfelt and hopeful – is of its own league altogether.

I was also struck by the power of “here” – and where it resides. “Here” can be just here as the image above says, or it can also be a cup, or a blanket, or a moment:

It is a powerful expression of owning one’s now, and reclaiming one’s narrative, as ferried by a story boat that brings one (or many) to a “here” one can call home.

Find this book, read it aloud to as many people as you can. It is a gift.


#ReadIntl2020 Update: Rashin Kheiriyeh is from Iran

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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