*For Welsh Review, see language toggle switch on top of page*
A treasure trove of pictures and a lovely story.
Often, it is the words that are important in a book, but it’s the pictures that grab our attention in this story. A beautiful book, featuring a wonderful artwork by Valériane Leblond. She normally draws for others, but this is the first book that she has been responsible for the story and the pictures herself.
This is a story about a poor family who leave Wales to seek out a better life in the distant lands of America. As ‘hiraeth’ takes hold, a longing for home, the quilt sewn by his mother brings the child great comfort.
As well as enjoying the story, which was subtle and elegant, I took ages to read the short book as I was so busy looking and studying the beautiful pictures in detail. On her website, the writer/artist talks about her work: " My artworks often deal with the idea of belonging, how people inhabit the land, what makes the place they call home. Most of my works have details and sub-stories that you may notice if you look longer.” I tend to agree with her – her use of patterns is very clever, if you look closely enough.
Through the ages, people from Wales have migrated by sea in search of a new life. They are facing a long and grueling journey, and countless challenges as they struggle to establish a new life in foreign lands. The book shows us this in a lovely way, which is perfectly suited to young children. (Note - the words are not as straightforward as the book initially suggests – it may be that an adult's help is needed to read it for very young children.)
It's a hard cover which is perfect for this book. A bargain for £5.99!