'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 17 June 2012

Book Review: Ships in the Field

The story is told by a young girl whose Papa has returned home from work for the evening. As the family, consisting of the young girl’s father, mother, and beloved toy dog ‘Brownie,’ goes about their evening routine, the story reflects on the previous lives of Ma and Papa.

Before the old country was broken by war her Papa was a farmer, and her Ma was a teacher. Now Papa works in a car factory, and Ma makes dresses all day long. The family also enjoys chicken soup for dinner – just like in the old country. 
Sundays are picnic days, the girl’s favourite day, as the family drives to the forest because Papa loves the trees and rivers. When Pa notices some sheep he tells the family, ‘Look at the ships in the field’. The girl giggles, but hates when other people laugh at the way her Papa talks.

This book is targeted for a primary school audience, as it contains many themes that may not be recognised by younger children. Such themes include war, immigrants, and other social justice themes such as respect for diversity and acceptance.

Although the writing seems deceptively simple, it gives an insight into the life of an immigrant family that is still adjusting to life in a country foreign to their home. I believe that this story would be a great tool for any primary school educator, teaching such themes in their classroom.

Review by Bree Sherd

Title: Ships in the Field
Author: Susanne Gervay
Illustrator: Anna Pignataro 
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Publication Date: Feb 2012
Format: Portrait hardback, pp. 32
ISBN: 9781876462871
Type: Picture books
For Ages: 7 +