‘Mustafa’s Jumper,’ by Coral Rumble, illustrated by Charlotte Cooke.

I personally believe that as adults and educators, it’s imperative that we encourage our young people to develop and empathy for others and to understand some of the wider issues in the world around. Based on an award-winning poem of Rumble’s, ‘Mustafa’s Jumper’ would be an excellent choice to open up discussions about what it means to be a refugee.

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Milo isn’t the best or worst-behaved pupil in his class and doesn’t ever get picked to do anything special. He’s not surprised when his best friend, Eddie, is chosen to welcome a new boy who doesn’t speak much English into their school. However, Eddie soon becomes bored so Milo decides that it can’t be that hard to play with a boy from a different country and does just that.

Catch, hopscotch, racing – you name it! “Boys from other countries like playing games. Boys from other countries smile and laugh. It really isn’t a hard job to be friends with a boy from another country.”

Mustafa and Milo become firm friends with Mustafa even becoming brace enough to play with Milo’s dog, Gus. But one day, Mustafa is sad and doesn’t want to talk about it. His family has to return to their old country and Milo has lots of questions.

This is a very accessible, touching story which provides a means to very gently open up discussions about refugees, welcoming new people and coping with difficult emotions. It’s format is highly-illustrated and between a picture book and chapter book in length, making it an accessible independent read for children aged 6+

In addition to the story, there is an explanation in the end papers as to who refugees and migrants are, giving a more global context to the book.

A worthwhile addition to any school or personal library.

Library Girl.

*Thank you to Wacky Bee for sending me this title to review*

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