BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Tomorrow
Author: Nadine Kaadan
Publication Date: August 2018
Most Suitable For: EYFS, KS1 & KS2
Tomorrow is a poignant picture book offering a window into what life might be like for children living under conditions of war, portraying the all-consuming darkness that war can bring into family life.
A young boy called Yazan lives in a war-torn Syrian town. Yazan senses everything changing around him as he is no longer allowed to visit the park or to enjoy playing outside in the street.
Even Yazan’s parents are changing. His mother watches the news with the volume turned up and his father fearfully makes phone calls before daring to leave the house. Fear and anxiety invade the household like a dark cloud filling each room with gloom and despair.
Yazan is bored of being stuck inside and decides to cycle to the park by himself. Venturing outside, he sees the once lively streets are now desolate and crumbling. To Yazan’s relief, his father appears in time to take him back home and the family work together to create a new way to bring some colour and joy back to the house despite the troublesome circumstances outside.
The use of pattern and colour is wonderfully striking. Images of the war-torn streets become projected onto clothes and furnishings inside the house, demonstrating the terrifying emotional impact on the family of what is happening outside the window. Almost everything becomes coloured by the dark and gloomy palette that represents the war, with only the most precious objects of joy retaining a splash of brighter colour.
Although the subject is a harrowing one, the story is told with much sensitivity and young children with little or no understanding of the context will be able to gather how the boy’s family life has become much darker and less safe due to changes happening outside his home. Enough information is exposed to offer a springboard into wider discussions about the context, without presenting any details of the Syrian situation too directly.
Tomorrow is an important and accomplished picture book that evokes empathy and opens avenues to start discussing real experiences for other children around the world. The splashes of colour and the joyful final page leave the story with hints of hope, as does the author’s note at the end, in which she discusses how the title reflects the 'wait for a time when "tomorrow" can be a better day for all Syrian children.'
Many thanks to the publisher for kindly sending me a review copy of this book.