Tomorrow written and illustrated by Nadine Kaadan, was published this week by Lantana Publishing. Lantana publish stunning books by authors and illustrators from around the world and this is their first picture book in translation, marking a milestone for the company. Nadine Kaadan is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator from Syria now living in London. She has published books in many countries and her mission is to encourage a reading culture in the Arab world.
Tomorrow by Nadine Kaadan
Yazan no longer goes to the park to play, and he no longer sees his friend who lives next door. Everything around him is changing. His parents sit in front of the television with the news turned up LOUD and Yazan’s little red bike leans forgotten against the wall. Will he ever be able to go outside and play?
A strikingly illustrated story, Tomorrow tells of a boy who can no longer play outside due to the war torn streets outside his home. Yazan’s mother and father are understandably so absorbed in watching for news of the war, they forget that their son needs to play. His mother in particular is so fraught with worry she no longer paints her beautiful pictures. But when Yazan takes matters into his own hands, desperate to play on his bike, he faces imminent danger and the discovery that there is no one left to play with and everything is different. His father comes to find him, but doesn’t even shout – which surely makes Yazan even more confused. Finally his mother explains what is happening and to make his days brighter, paints a beautiful picture across his bedroom wall so that even if only in his imagination, he can play outside.
Tomorrow is a moving story, both beautiful and bittersweet demonstrating how a war can affect every day life even down to ruining playtime. Captured through cleverly eye catching illustrations and a simple narrative, you are drawn in to this scary world where nothing is as it was before. Glimpses of colour reflect the hope of tomorrow being the day when everything returns to normal. The story demonstrates a unique expression of love between mother and son and that war and fighting cannot take away the imagination and creativity that lives in us all.
Tomorrow would be a good way to introduce issues around conflict with children. The war in Syria that still rages on; not all those affected leave their homes as refugees and there are families still living with day to day fighting – even when it’s not making news headlines. Accompanied at the end by a note to readers from the author that describes the reason for this story, it won’t fail to leave you with a sadness for all those caught up in conflict and hope for tomorrow being a better day.
With thanks to Lantana Publishing for sending me this book to review.
Find out more at www.nadinekaadan.com