For this week’s Trendy Tuesdays, I reviewed the book, Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour and illustrated by Daniel Egneus.
This book tackles a very important yet sensitive political topic. In this book, Meddour touches on our current refugee crisis and the way that it affects young children and their families.
This book follows the story of Lubna and her father as they arrive as refugees to a new and unknown country. Lubna, unsure of what her future holds, befriends a pebble whom she tells are her stories and secrets to. Lubna finds comfort in her pebble and eventually, he becomes a sense of security for her.
As Lubna is adjusting to life in her new tent city, a new family arrives, with a son named Amir. Quickly Lubna and pebble befriend Amir as well, sharing with him all of their stories and adventures. Then suddenly one night, Lubna’s father announces that they must leave their new home. Amir becomes distraught and Lubna is conflicted about what she can do to comfort him and assure Amir that he will be okay here in this new tent city without her.
This story is unique both in content and illustration. Egneus offers a new perspective, by illustrating the book from the perspective of Lubna. Readers get to experience the tent city and relationships through her eyes, which makes the reading experience more intimate. Egneus uses vivid color bursts to show the range of emotions that one may feel in situations depicted in the book. He also makes great use of scale and page layout to better convey a child’s point of view.
Teachers and parents can use this book as either an introduction to a unit about the refugee crisis or just as a way to answer some of the questions that kids might have about what a refugee is and why they may have to leave their home country.