Tuesday 04 March 2014
SYRIA 3 YEARS ON - Children’s book ‘The Day the Bombs Fell’ brings hope to Syrian refugees
On UNESCO World Book Day Cornish disaster relief charity ShelterBox is promoting its own book – written for and illustrated by children – with £1 from every sale going to help refugees from the Syrian conflict
‘The Day the Bombs Fell’ is a children’s book with a great pedigree and a great purpose. Firstly, it has been endorsed by Michael Morpurgo OBE, former Children’s Laureate and author of the worldwide phenomenon ‘War Horse’ - book and stage play and Spielberg movie.
Secondly, best-selling children’s author and artist Michael Foreman provided the book’s cover and introduction, and helped to choose its 18 vivid illustrations by primary school pupils.
And the book’s great purpose? To engage young people in thinking about the nature of conflict by inviting them simply to draw war. And then to use a quarter of the book’s proceeds to directly help other children and families caught up in the vast Syrian humanitarian crisis.
Chief Executive of ShelterBox, Alison Wallace, says, ‘This book, the latest in a series exploring young people’s responses to disaster, is a perfect fit with the aims of World Book Day. The original story by Claire White invited our young illustrators to empathise with families forced from their homes by conflict. Their response, in colourful paintings and drawings, was dynamic, compassionate and thought-provoking. I am proud not only of the product, but that ShelterBox is using £1 from every copy sold to benefit Syria’s homeless.’
World Book Day, on 6 March, is designated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries.
Every year ShelterBox and The Reading Agency charity ask primary school pupils across the country to draw or paint their own interpretations of disasters – tsunamis, earthquakes, floods. This latest publication, against the backdrop of ShelterBox’s work with Syrian refugees, is inspired by conflict.
Michael Morpurgo, in his poignant note on the back cover of ‘When the Bombs Fell’ says, ‘We cannot imagine how it must be for those millions of refugees in Syria. Remember, to those who have so little, a little is a lot. Remember, to survive is to hope. Let's help them to survive, let's bring them hope. Let's help ShelterBox bring them hope.’
ShelterBox has already sent aid to support more than 4,500 families in Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan, Lebanon and Jordan. It was the first aid agency to take tents to refugees in Lebanon with the permission of the Lebanese Government. As the third anniversary of the Syrian conflict approaches, ShelterBox is renewing its fundraising efforts to help as many families as possible, and proceeds from the book sale will add to this.
‘The Day the Bombs Fell’ is available at £4 via the ShelterBox website www.shelterboxshop.org, selected bookshops and Amazon. £1 for every copy sold goes to ShelterBox’s Syria Refugee Appeal.
Notes to editors
More details on World Book Day here http://www.worldbookday.com/about/
The Reading Agency is an independent charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life, by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. It is funded by Arts Council England www.readingagency.org.uk
Chatterbooks is a reading group programme coordinated by The Reading Agency for children aged seven to twelve. There are 712 Chatterbooks children’s reading groups running in UK schools and libraries involving 10,000 children.
To donate to ShelterBox’s Syria Refugee Appeal, phone 0300 0300 500 or visit www.shelterbox.org/syria