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ISBN-13: 9781786750723 (HB)
ISBN-13: 9781786751294 (PB)
260 x 216mm
Full-colour Illustrations
Age 5+

Rights: World
Rights Sold: UK, ANZ

Market: Children's Picture Books


by Brian Bilston
Illustrated by José Sanabria

Refugee is a powerful word. One that conjures opposing emotions. For some it provokes feelings of fear or hate; for others the need for compassion, understanding and empathy. In his celebrated poem, Refugees, Brian Bilston tells both sides of the story by cleverly crafting a verse that can be read both forwards and backwards to convey the two opposing views. Perfectly accompanied by stunning illustrations from José Sanabria, this book is a wonderful way to get children to explore this emotive issue.

Brian Bilston is often described as the "Poet Laureate of Twitter." He is a secretive figure. His true identity is hidden behind his twitter account. From fragments of information pulled together from various social media feeds, we know he likes cycling, Vimto and dislikes Jeremy Clarkson. He is a published writer in anthologies. This is his first picture book.

José Sanabria was born in Columbia and lives in Argentina. He is a highly accomplished artist, illustrator and writer and his books are published around the world. This is his first English Language book.

Shortlisted 2020 English 4-11 Picture Book Awards

“This clever and important poem is a powerful reminder of the need to challenge misconceptions and hostility. It shows the importance of seeing the full story and challenging negative narratives. Sadly refugees often face difficulties in their search for safety but clearly there is also much compassion to be found, and real support for people who have faced unimaginable hardship to find safety. This beautiful picture book is a good way of introducing children to this complex issue.”
Dr Lisa Doyle, Director of Advocacy, Refugee Council

"Both the Brian Bilston poem “Refugees” and his consequent children's book with artist José Sanabria offer empathy, simplicity and genius. If words and minds can be so brilliantly reversed, why not the systems and policies inflicting such cruelty in our world?"
Shami Chakrabarti

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