Once there was a boy who had to leave home…and find another.
In his bag he carried a book, a bottle and a blanket.
In his teacup he carried some earth from where he used to play.
Teacup is the story of a displaced boy who travels in search of a new home. His teacup yields a surprise – a tree that grows as he lives upon the sea. Eventually he finds an island, where he sets up home and waits for company to arrive.
From the first page the stunning images of rolling clouds, roiling seas, massive whales and more draw the eye away from the text which, printed in white, almost disappears into the page – echoing the very understated nature of the narrative. The story is slightly whimsical – with the idea of a tree growing in a teacup, and the absence of any adults or explanation for the boy’s need to find a new home – which enriches rather than diminishing the parallels with the plight of refugees who take to the seas looking for better lives. There is plenty of room to discuss both what is happening in the story and these parallels.
The combination of Rebecca Young’s gentle text with Matt Ottley’s incredible artwork makes for a breathtaking whole.
Teacup, by Rebecca Young and Matt Ottley
Available from good bookstores or online.