TWO WHITE RABBITS -- a moving and timely story about a young girl describing what it's like to be a migrant traveling north to the U.S. border
Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng (illustrator) (2015, Groundwood Books; 32 pages)
A little girl is traveling with her father, and she doesn’t know where they are going. She entertains herself counting the animals by the road, the stars and clouds in the sky. Along the way, sometimes she sees soldiers, and there are scary times when they are forced to stop because her father needs to earn more money before they can continue their journey. She also meets a friend who gives her a beautiful present.
This is an extraordinary story with incredibly powerful and realistic illustrations that recreate the story of one of the many thousands of migrants that travel north from Central America and Mexico to reach the U.S. border. The book is powerful and a fantastic example of the power of showing a reality, rather than telling it. We don’t really know why the father and daughter in the book are leaving their home and the world they love and know to go to a different country. We can try to guess, but we are not told. We do know about the millions of people around the world becoming refugees every year. The book offers a little bit of information about this reality at the end of the story, information brought by Patricia Aldana, President of the IBBY Foundation. In North America, close to a hundred thousand children from Central America have made the very dangerous trip the story tells to try to find safety and a way to survive in the United States. Coyotes, people whom they pay to “help” them make the trip, often betray and abandon them. And when they finally make it to the border, they might be turned back or arrested.
Aldana leaves us with a question: “What do those of us who have safe comfortable lives owe to people who do not?”
Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng bring us a fantastic book about refugees and/or migrants. Recommended for all ages.
Find this title in our catalog: Two White Rabbits
Recommended by: Maite