Illustration from Kyo Maclear's Story Boat book

Reviews

2020 Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize, Finalist
Canadian Picture Books to Watch for in Spring 2020, CBC

“Even among many excellent recent picture books about refugees, Maclear’s (“It Began With a Page”) story stands out, showing how comfort and routine can be found on an uncertain journey. The children don’t know why they’ve left or where they are. “Here is just here,” and “here” is the family singing, drinking from a familiar cup and waiting. Kheiriyeh’s (“Saffron Ice Cream”) gorgeously playful illustrations add to the humane, hopeful message.”
New York Times

“An utter masterpiece, Story Boat tackles a very serious issue that affects many children today. Kyo Maclear has managed to describe the hardships that migrants face in the midst of crisis in a poetic way with clear, concise imagery that evokes the fear and pain of leaving everything you have ever known behind… Overall, Story Boat is an immensely enjoyable read.”
CM Reviews

“A poetic distillation of the experience of a group of refugees, always moving from one “here” to another “here.”… A timely and uplifting book about and for refugees.”
Kirkus Review (starred)

“Maclear (Operatic) captures in lyrical verse the lives of two young refugees, for whom “here” is a different place every day…The creators tell a refugee story in simple language with everyday objects, making it graspable for young readers.”
Publishers Weekly

“The vibrant, full-page illustrations convey the dreams of the refugees and help soften some of the text that deals with the uncertainty and hardship that is part of this kind of journey. This is a timely story that will allow parents and teachers to open a discussion with young readers about the experiences of refugees or even the modern refugee crisis.”
School Library Connection (Recommended)

“Another beautifully illustrated picture book about a little refugee girl whose family helps her feel safe in a time of uncertainty … At the Seder, too, a story is a boat. It’s a reminder of a journey that formed us, one that perpetually recreates our sense of self.”
Tablet Magazine

“In Story Boat, author Kyo Maclear and illustrator Rashin Kheiriyeh do not reduce the lives of immigrants to an easy object lesson in tolerance. Instead, they create together an incredible poetic and visual metaphor of strong and determined people, without losing sight of their individuality or the immediacy of their need for freedom. Children will identify with the book’s resilient characters on their journey towards a haven through space and time.”
Imaginary Elevators

“The eye-catching folk-style artwork done primarily in orange, blue, and black places the accent on the humanity and hopefulness of the refugees rather than exhaustion and despair, though that too comes out in a few of the adult faces. This puts a gentle face on a difficult, worsening problem.”
—Booklist

“Elegantly composed and beautifully depicted, Story Boat is the perfect vehicle to spark sensitive discussions and foster compassion for newcomers.”
Quill and Quire (starred review)

“The vibrant, full-page illustrations convey the dreams of the refugees and help soften some of the text that deals with the uncertainty and hardship that is part of this kind of journey. This is a timely story that will allow parents and teachers to open a discussion with young readers about the experiences of refugees or even the modern refugee crisis.”
—School Library Connection

“There’s a kind of picture book where the text reads a bit like a poem, and the illustrations create a new narrative that’s more than just a literal interpretation of the words on the page. I love books like this, because they remind me of the tremendous potential of the picture book as an artistic form. Kyo Maclear’s gorgeous, meditative text, paired with Rashin Kheiriyeh’s deceptively simple illustrations does exactly this in The Story Boat, and the result is not to be missed.”
Book Page

“Though published for children, Story Boat will touch readers of all ages with its delicate portrayal of two children holding onto home even in the most trying of circumstances.”
Young Adulting

“Luminous and thought-provoking, Story Boat contains deep layers of meaning that are sure to spark conversations from young readers.”
Book Page (starred review)

“The story is told simply, with so much meaning. The accompanying images are created using colored pencil and watercolor, oil and acrylic paint with additional materials, including wood, wool and cut paper. Imagination and assurance make the difference for two young children facing an unknown future. Heartfelt, hopeful and telling.”
Sal’s Fiction Addiction

To pur­chase Story Boat by Kyo Maclear and Rashin Kheiriyeh, please visit your local inde­pen­dent bookseller.