The VoyageThe Voyage
By Veronica Salinas
Illustrated by Camilla Engman
Published by Groundwood Books

Salinas’s musings on the subject of change will resonate especially with those who’ve had to move to a new home or immigrate to another country.” –Publisher’s Weekly

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In this delightful picture book, a small duck finds himself in a place full of unusual creatures who speak an unfamiliar language. Eventually, he meets an animal whose big feet are just like his own. And with a friend by his side, he soon can feel at home. First published in Norway in 2012, this deceptively simple book about adapting to new situations will appeal to children who are just starting school or daycare, children who are about to move to a new home, or children who are learning a new language. The illustrations are gently humorous, while the simple text affirms the importance of knowing who you are and being open to change. Without making unrealistic promises, this story reassures children that, with time, they can adapt to any new environment and make new friends to explore it with. And if, as happens to the little duck in this story, those new friends have to leave, the child, like the little duck, will be able to greet the next wave of newcomers with compassion and generosity.

Reviews & Accolades
“Perhaps there is no better way to evoke the universal than by enlisting the help of small forest animals, which the illustrator Camilla Engman does to delightful effect in
The Voyage…the wit and inventiveness of the artwork make this voyage memorable.” –The New York Times Review

“In a story first published in Norway, Salinas describes acclimating to life in a new country—or perhaps just to growth and change in general—in dreamy, metaphorical terms. The story’s events happen to the “you” of a second-person narrative: “And you land someplace. You think it’s strange there.” Engman does a yeoman’s job of creating a visual world from an abstract text….Salinas’s musings on the subject of change will resonate especially with those who’ve had to move to a new home or immigrate to another country.” –Publisher’s Weekly

“Originally published in Norway as Reisen, this story of an unexpected voyage is addressed directly to the reader: “Maybe one day you have to leave.” … Artist-illustrator Engman then fills two spreads with companionable creatures and luscious folk-art flowers in deliciously muted colors. When another wind blows away the summer scene and the brown duck is left alone again, she is able to greet newcomers with a secure “Hello” and “I am me…Who are you?” Young readers and listeners following the little duck’s journey can be reassured that change is not always bad and it is possible to weather a storm with confidence in yourself. Engman’s digitally colored pictures are naive but knowing, full of amusing details (a hovering blue fly, a fish with red lips, a worm in sunglasses) to keep viewers turning the pages. The beautifully designed book will make an absorbing read-aloud, savored by adults and children alike.” –Children’s Literature

“A little duck acts as a stand-in for the immigrant experience in this title about change, loss and redemption…this story about a duck’s journey from one place to another applies a deft touch to a complex topic for young readers. The direct address of the text (“Maybe one day you have to leave”) juxtaposed with pictures of the duck packing belongings and being “blown so far that you forget who you are and where you come from” is quite effective in aligning readers with the bird…This turning point ultimately affirms the need for a strong sense of self to precede the development of stability in a new place and community. An effective story, unique in its treatment of the immigrant or refugee experience as it addresses a younger audience than might be typical for this topic.” –Kirkus Reviews

Groups Represented

Immigration, learning English, multicultural friendship, identity


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