My Two Blankets (bilingual editions) by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood

My Two Blankets is a beautiful book that tells the story of the strangeness of a new world for a little girl who has moved to Australia with her auntie. The words people are speaking sound strange and clanging. Even the wind feels strange to her. The only comfort she finds in this unfamiliar world is the blanket she brought with her from her old world. But then she meets a little girl in the park who starts teaching her words, new phrases that she can weave into her old familiar blanket, covering her with the comfort of being able to communicate in the new world.

The Readings Foundation (which promotes literacy in all its forms) awarded a grant of $11,000 to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) for My Two Blankets to be translated into three languages: Farsi, Arabic and Dari. The impact of a beautifully produced picture book, in the language of an asylum seeker’s home country, cannot be overestimated. It gives a legitimacy to asylum seekers, letting them know that we, in Australia, welcome them and want them to feel at home. This book is a real, feel-good read (and not only because it’s such a delightful story). The translated language in each version runs alongside the original English text. This is one of ten projects supported by the Readings Foundation.

Gabrielle Williams works as a bookseller at Readings Malvern and is the Grants Officer for the Readings Foundation. She is also the author of books for young adults.

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My Two Blankets: Farsi and English edition

My Two Blankets: Farsi and English edition

Irena Kobald, Freya Blackwood

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