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Zana Fraillon, Grahame Baker-Smith

Idris is a child refugee, born into a world of tents and fences. He has known no other life than this. He has no memories of the world outside.

Then the Wisp arrives, floating in on the evening breeze. Everyone who holds it finds their memories reawakened, their hopes of freedom reborn. But what about Idris, who has no memories? What will happen when he holds the magical Wisp?

Storytelling and imagination have the power to offer hope in this extraordinary picture book from the Amnesty CILIP Honour-winning author of The Bone Sparrow, Zana Fraillon, and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning illustrator Grahame Baker Smith.


Idris is a small boy in a small, dark world – a refugee camp where he has spent his whole life. The people there are lonely and suspicious, and have slowly had their memories and wishes worn away by sadness. One evening, bright little wisps of light start to appear in the camp,carrying back memories of happier times and the taste of hope for better ones.

Zana Fraillon, a past winner of The Readings Children’s Book Prize for her book The Bone Sparrow, brings her characteristic warmth and urgency to the picture book format, beautifully accompanied by moody illustrations by Grahame Baker-Smith. Highly recommended for ages 3+.

George Delaney is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids.

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