Suri’s Wall – Lucy Estela, illustrated by Matt Ottley – Penguin Books Australia – Published 26 August 2015
Eva squeezed Suri’s hand. “What’s there? What can you see?”
“What can I see?” Suri looked out over the wall. “Oh, it’s beautiful, let me tell you all about it.”
A moving tale of the power of the human spirit.
This is an incredibly powerful book.
I went into the book knowing very little about it. I had not even read the blurb. And I think that was the best way to read it. So, if you want to go and find a copy, snuggle down, enjoy the story and then come back and read my review, go ahead. I’ll wait….
Suri’s Wall has been nominated for CBCA’s Book of the Year in 2016, and for very good reason. It is a particularly powerful and moving story. It speaks volumes and yet is gentle and quiet in conveying a message of hope and beauty in times of pain and loss.
The use of colour is this book is as equally powerful as the delicate words. The colours start much like they are on the front cover, muted with plenty of purple tones. The majority of the pages use these tones, but as the story unfolds, bright colours are introduced until you have magnificent, full colour spreads. On some pages the text is separated on side panels and some pages simply don’t need words at all.
This book is incredibly topical, with the impact of war, separation of families and refugees so prominent in today’s society, and yet it could easily be set 100 years ago, such is the timeless quality of both the story and illustrations. Other themes include being different, loneliness, friendship, and the power of stories.
Suri’s Wall is a beautiful book that will appeal to many readers and is deserving of a place on every bookshelf.
Category: Children’s fiction, Picture Books
Themes: War, Children, Imagination, Storytelling, Stories, Impact of war
Reading age guide: Ages 6 and up.
Published: 26 August 2015, Penguin Books Australia.
Format: Hardcover. 32 pages.
Teacher Notes: Scholastic