Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Emigration & Immigration

If You See a Bluebird

by (author) Bahram Rahman

illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Emigration & Immigration, Multigenerational, Emotions & Feelings, Birds, Cooking & Food
Recommended Age
5 to 8
Recommended Grade
k to 3
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


For young Ali, a former refugee from Afghanistan, “home” is where his family is together.

Although his family is safe in their new country, Ali finds himself wishing he could go back to Afghanistan. A day spent picking blackberries with Nana reminds him of their old house with the mulberry tree he loved, and the day the soldiers came. He recalls their nighttime flight and the crowded buses and airplane that took him to this beautiful but unfamiliar place. When Ali and Nana spot a bluebird, she tells him to make a wish. Ali wishes to go home, but, as he comes to learn, home is not a place. Home is the love his family has for each other.

In If You See a Bluebird, Bahram Rahman, author of ALA Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book A Sky-Blue Bench, reflects on the experience of former refugees as they learn to adapt and embrace a new country and a new home. Award-winning illustrator Gabrielle Grimard incorporates rich and varied colour palettes to capture Ali’s two worlds.

A story of family togetherness that redefines the meaning of home.

About the authors


BAHRAM RAHMAN est né à Kaboul, en Afghanistan, et a grandi pendant la guerre civile et le régime taliban. C’est pour décrire les difficultés rencontrées par les femmes de sa famille à recevoir une éducation qu’il a écrit Le bibliobus. Il a voulu mettre en lumière les barrières à l’éducation qui existent encore aujourd’hui pour des millions d’enfants, en particulier des filles, qui vivent dans des pays déchirés par la guerre.


BAHRAM RAHMAN was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and grew up during the civil war and the Taliban regime. He wrote Le bibliobus, his first picture book, to document the struggle for education experienced by the women in his own family and to draw attention to the barriers that still exist for millions of children, especially girls, living in war-torn countries today.


Bahram Rahman's profile page


GABRIELLE GRIMARD a illustré plus de 30 albums, dontLes mots volés, Quand j’avais huit ans, Fatima et les voleurs de clémentines, Aujourd'hui peut-être... et les livres de la série Petit Gnouf. Elle est aussi l'auteure-illustratrice de l'album Lila et la corneille. Gabrielle habite aux environs de Montréal.


From the time she was little GABRIELLE GRIMARD loved art, dismaying her elementary school teachers by constantly drawing in class. Later Gabrielle studied art in high school and university. After her son was born, she began illustrating children’s books and has now created more than 25, including When I Was Eight (Quand j'avais huit ans), Stolen Words (Les mots volés) and Not My Girl (Où est ma fille?). Lila and the Crow (Lila et la corneille) is the first book she both wrote and illustrated. She uses watercolours, gouache and oil to create images of amazing warmth and depth. Gabrielle lives near Montreal, QC. Visit her at

Gabrielle Grimard's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for If You See a Bluebird

49th Shelf Fall 2023 “Most Anticipated Books for Young Readers” Selection

CBC Books “45 Picture Books to Check Out This Fall 2023” Selection

“The story thrums with the sadness of places left behind and the danger that forces people to leave....The vivid illustrations demarcate the past and present by contrasting the bright blue skies and rolling green plains of Ali’s new home with the rustic terracotta hues of his homeland. A sweetly sentimental story that places people at the heart of a home.”Kirkus

“This book comes with a bit of a pedigree…Bahram is, himself, from Afghanistan and his books take their inspiration from that land.”School Library Journal, Fuse 8

“This is another great title…by award winning author of The Library Bus and A Sky-Blue Bench. Inspiring!”—Dr. Larry Recommends

Other titles by

Other titles by

Related lists