- Author: Irena Kobald
- Illustrator: Freya Blackwood
- Publisher: Hardi Grant Children’s Publishing
My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald is a story about the pain of being dislocated from home and from what’s familiar. It follows the story of a young girl who moves countries to escape the war and has to learn to live in this new place.
This story resonates with many of our students who come from an English Additional Language/Dialect background. Especially when the main character comments that the new place felt like ‘standing under a cold waterfall of strange sounds.’ The writing in this book is beautiful and the careful WORD CHOICE and SENTENCE FLUENCY assist with conveying the meaning and feelings in the book. The sentences start out quite simple and move towards
becoming more complex as the girl improves her English. There are some really beautiful metaphors in this book and this alone would be a useful mini lesson. Loads of great discussion can come out of this text- I would suggest pulling it out over and over again.
Another brilliant note about this book is that the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne joined with Readings Bookshop to produce bilingual copies in three languages: English and Farsi, Arabic or Dari (I have the Arabic version). The impact on students when they can see their own home language in the mentor text is one we need to replicate much more often!