Has a Ukrainian child recently joined your child’s class? Here’s the book to read

Has a Ukrainian child recently joined your child’s classroom? Perhaps their best friend comes from Syria, Afghanistan or Ethiopia. Helen Cooper’s Saving the Butterfly (Walker Books, 3+, £12.99) is a picturebook for young readers that places the experience of forced migration at its centre. The story follows two displaced siblings trying to make a new home together after being “lost in the dark seas”.

Cooper takes care not to call them refugees, but the contemporary context is clear: as the only two “left in the boat . . . They could have died. The bigger one thought they wouldn’t survive. But they did.” Kind hands carry them to land and find them shelter, but while the little one learns to laugh again, the bigger one cannot help remember the darkness from which they have come from. The focus here is on the children struggling to redefine themselves away from all they know.

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