Tonight is the night.
The family has to flee.
They've been tipped off that the authorities are
after their blood.
The ‘Flight’ of this book may at first seem to be a re-telling of the Christmas story, but the little family of refugees who travel through this book are living in a time and place that is all too familiar from the television news.
In Armin Greder’s illustrations, the seemingly unending line of the horizon shows that the journey will be long and arduous. In Nadia Wheatley’s narrative, the sparse and understated words allow readers to experience the characters’ fears and hopes for themselves.
As the story ends, and the child repeats his mother’s promise that they will find their new home, we are left with the feeling that we want to help this family, and others like them.
“Nadia Wheatley’s narrative steers us through one family’s perilous journey, with a text rich in both the suspense of external events and the warmth and reassurance between the adults and their child. Armin Greder’s illustrations are breathtakingly wrought in dark and sombre shades... This timely — and timeless — story has been thoughtfully realised by an inspired partnership of author and illustrator. ”
— Judges' Report, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, 2016
“Flight is an outstanding example of collaboration between author and illustrator. It is a timely, powerful picture book ending with a message of hope.”
— Children’s Book Council of Australia, Notable Book List, 2016
“This is a very simply told narrative: the language is straightforward, allowing the gravity of a refugee story to make its impact on the reader. The illustrations provoke the feeling of the shifting desert, and the thin, desperate vision of the family. This picture book could be used with any age group to begin or further the discussion of displaced people around the world: young children should be able to grasp the narrative, and secondary students would have much to analyse for their visual media studies in the English curriculum.”
— Reading Time, June 2016
About the Author and Illustrator
In a literary career spanning over three decades, Nadia Wheatley has written award-winning picture books, novels, and works of history for children and adults. These include the classic picture book My Place, illustrated by Donna Rawlins, and the history book, Australians All. The Papunya School Book of Country and History was the result of a five-year collaboration with Aboriginal students and staff at Papunya School (Northern Territory). In 2013 Nadia was nominated by IBBY Australia for the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing.
Armin Greder was born in Switzerland. In 1971 he migrated to Australia where he worked as a graphic designer and later taught design and illustration at a tertiary art institution. Picture books he has illustrated include The Great Bear, An Ordinary Day and I Am Thomas; and he has written and illustrated The Island and The City. He is the recipient of a number of international recognitions such as the Bologna Ragazzi Award, and he has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. He now lives in Lima, Peru.