Having the opportunity to work alongside UNICEF is an incredible privilege and getting to work on an illustrated children’s book with them is just a dream come true.
The situation around the challenges and heartache facing refugees is a very topical issue. Two of UNICEF’s Young Ambassadors had a pipe dream to develop a children’s book which documented the story of a young refugee family fleeing their home, and the risks that they faced for the hope of a safer future. They involved three groups of primary school aged children to write the story, each from very different socioeconomic backgrounds to all collaboratively write one part.
The insight and imagination of the children involved was incredible. Many children from one of the schools involved were refugees themselves, and spoke openly about parents who had been killed during the turmoil in their homeland and the war and destruction they were exposed to at much too young an age. Across all three schools, an amazing level of compassion was demonstrated by the way these kids articulated the loss and heartache of the story’s main protagonists, ten-year-old twins Shukri and Jaffar, and their adjustment to a new and foreign home.
Illustrations and Book Design
We worked with the incredibly talented Cara Tune who illustrated the beautiful images throughout the story book. Combining rich colours, layered textures and a great finesse for detailing facial expressions, Cara’s illustrations brought the story to life. We brought these together with the story in the design of the book layout, carefully approached with a young readership in mind to ensure readability and maximum emphasis on the illustrations.
Children are our future leaders, thinkers and decision makers, and being involved in a project which can help shape a positive attitude and compassionate perspective towards refugees is an amazing opportunity. A project like this reminds us of the power of design, and the impact we can have in the world when we bring our skills together with a great vision.