The Mediterranean

Armin Greder

Allen & Unwin

January 2018

$29.99 AU

40p hc

ISBN: 978-1760630959

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A new Armin Greder picture book is always something to look forward to and this book is no exception. His books always pack a punch and are emotional and force the reader to address realities in the world. This book is one of his most powerful, but told with the minimal of words, just 17 in fact at the very beginning on a blank two-page spread. The rest is wordless, but the images are oh so evocative. Returning to his theme of refugees and human displacement seen in his previous books, this book shows the depressive cycle of this world issue.

The story begins with a refugee drowning in the sea. Fish feed on his body, fishermen capture the fish, the fish are sold, then served up to men at a restaurant, the men turn out to be arms dealers, the guns are sold to a dictator who in turn threatens a town, the people flee, they meet people traders who put them on an overcrowded boat, the boat sinks and so the cycle begins again…

This is a profoundly moving story which will have readers think deeply about the issues and help then empathise with the plight of refugees. The dark illustrations using charcoal and white spaces add to the sense of danger these people face. An essential book for secondary libraries.

Stephen, Canberra

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