Written by: Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G)
Illustrated by: Noar Lee Naggan
For ages: 3 years and up
Language: English and some Hebrew
Topics Covered: Refugee, Growing Up, Lullaby, Family, Nature, Love, Social-Emotional Learning,
This is a very sweet book that delicately explains the refugee experience of a family in a lullaby style. A young girl happily plays outside and then eats dinner with her family, a shiny menorah on their windowsill. When night falls, the foursome set off walking into the forest. The young girl says goodnight, “Lilah Tov” to the animals she sees on their walk, bundled up in the snowy weather. She is shown happy and smiling for the entire book, optimistic and reverent of the natural world surrounding her.
While this is one refugee experience represented, it is not so detailed that it couldn’t be used to generally explain the big picture concept of the refugee experience to young readers. The book itself is beautiful, and the main character is thrilled to wish all things, creatures and non, a good night. The majority of the family’s travel takes place at night, including a long boat ride underneath a large starry sky. This would be a great story for people looking to introduce these lived experiences to younger audiences, or before reading other books that have more violent aspects for fleeing. Four Feet, Two Sandals; My Name is Sangoel, and The Banana Leaf Ball are all books that would fall under this second category. All in all, we enjoyed this book very much and would be happy to have it on any bookshelf we encountered.
This book was generously sent by the author, but all opinions are our own!
About the Author & the Illustrator:
It’s hard to say which has been more of a driving force for Ben Gundersheimer: music or storytelling. Throughout his career the two crafts have intertwined, propelling him as a performer and author. By age nine he was writing his own original songs, and as the son of children’s book author/illustrator Karen Gundersheimer, composing stories was a constant activity as well.
Ben went on to receive a scholarship from Berklee College of Music, travel the world as a singer/songwriter, and earn a Masters of Education. During his student teaching days he engaged his fourth graders through music, and it was this experience that transformed him into MISTER G, inspiring him to relaunch his career to focus on performing for children and families.
From illustrator Noar Lee Naggan’s website: “Hi! I’m an illustrator living in New York, chiefly interested in children’s books. I also have a great passion to tell stories, and do it through my illustrations. I aspire to one day write my own books and illustrate them.
I was born in Israel and graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. I previously worked mostly in animation and graphic design with major companies in Israel, but several years ago I found my calling in illustration and I never looked back.”