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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Refuge, written by Anne Booth and illustrated by Sam Usher. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette. 2015. $20.99 ages 5 and up

"The shepherds came first ...
And after them
came the kings ...

When the last king left,
the scent of frankincense
lingering in the air, we all
slept and the man had a

A dream of danger."

The donkey is the voice for a tale told of a difficult journey to Bethlehem. The man takes the lead, the donkey carries the woman and their arrival is timed perfectly. A baby is born! The shepherds are the first visitors, then the kings. All is well, until the man has his dream.

He heeds the warning, packs up his family, and they begin another journey:

" ... under starlight, through empty streets,
while people were sleeping,
hoping for the kindness of strangers.


It is a frightening, and a long time until they find a new place to settle ... and refuge.

So many people of the world feel helpless in the wake of the refugee crisis that affects millions of families. It is unfathomable to think of our own children in such dire straits, always dependent on strangers who show kindness and offer a safe place. Finding a book to help them begin to understand the terror that refugees feel as they are forced to leave their homes, their communities, their countries and seek shelter with others is not always easy.

At this time of year, when many have so much and want for little, Refuge may be just the book for us. It is beautifully written, elegantly presented with soft artwork that matches its gentle, hopeful tone.

Except for the cost to print it, all money raised goes to  to help care for Syrian refugee children. Two gifts in one this Christmas, and well worth your attention.

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