November 17, 2017

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Syrian Refugees Welcomed to Canada with an SLJ Best Book

cover Sidewalk Flowers

The Canadian arm of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY Canada) is gifting each arriving Syrian refugee family with a copy of Sidewalk Flowers (Groundwood, 2015), one of SLJ‘s Best Books of 2015. The books will be presented in a welcome package that includes a postcard in either English and Arabic or French and Arabic, depending on the province. The card lists everything the library can help with, and gives clear direction on how to get a library card.

Canada expects 25,000 refugees over the next few months. The first wave of families has started arriving in Toronto and Montreal.

Sidewalk Flowers, a wordless picture book with no language barriers, depicts a little girl showing small acts of kindness to people in need as she and her father walk through a city. Author JonArno Lawson and illustrator Sydney Smith are donating their royalties in connection with this special distribution.

IBBY’s Children in Crisis projects have reached out to 25 countries stricken with conflict or natural disaster. “Books are healing for children and families in difficult circumstances,” said Patsy Aldana, president of the IBBY Foundation. “Reading helps children everywhere live better lives.”

RELATED: The Global is the Local

Christina Vercelletto About Christina Vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is School Library Journal’s former news editor. An award-winning writer and editor, Vercelletto has held staff positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, and NYMetroParents.com.

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