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Children's Fiction Emigration & Immigration

Story Boat

by (author) Kyo Maclear

illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Initial publish date
Feb 2020
Emigration & Immigration, New Experience, Imagination & Play
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


When you have to leave behind almost everything you know, where can you call home? Sometimes home is simply where we are: here. An imaginative, lyrical, unforgettable picture book about the migrant experience through a child's eyes.

When a little girl and her younger brother are forced along with their family to flee the home they've always known, they must learn to make a new home for themselves -- wherever they are. And sometimes the smallest things -- a cup, a blanket, a lamp, a flower, a story -- can become a port of hope in a terrible storm. As the refugees travel onward toward an uncertain future, they are buoyed up by their hopes, dreams and the stories they tell -- a story that will carry them perpetually forward.

This timely, sensitively told story, written by multiple award--winner Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Sendak Fellowship recipient Rashin Kheiriyeh, introduces very young readers in a gentle, non-frightening and ultimately hopeful way to the current refugee crisis.

About the authors

KYO MACLEAR was born in London and grew up in Toronto as the only child of a foreign correspondent. Her father reported on some significant world events, including recording the first interviews with American POWs in North Vietnam. While Stray Love is entirely a work of fiction, it is informed by her experiences living with her father. Her first novel, The Letter Opener (2007), was awarded the K.M. Hunter Artists Award and shortlisted for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award. Maclear is also an award-winning visual arts writer and the author of two children’s books: Spork (2010) and Virginia Wolf (2012). Visit her online at

Kyo Maclear's profile page

Rashin Kheiriyeh's profile page


  • Nominated, USBBY-CBC Outstanding International Trade Book
  • Winner, Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable - Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picturebook of the Year Award
  • Short-listed, Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books

Editorial Reviews

One of NPR’s 100 Favorite Books For Young Readers
One of CCBC’s Best Books for Kids and Teens Fall 2020
PRAISE FOR Story Boat:

“A timely and uplifting book about and for refugees.” STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
"Elegantly composed and beautifully depicted, Story Boat is the perfect vehicle to spark sensitive discussions and foster compassion for newcomers.” —STARRED REVIEW, Quill & Quire
“Luminous and thought-provoking, Story Boat contains deep layers of meaning that are sure to spark conversations from young readers.” STARRED REVIEW, BookPage
"Even among many excellent recent picture books about refugees, Maclear's story stands out . . . Kheiriyeh's gorgeously playful illustrations add to the human hopeful message." —New York Times
“An utter masterpiece, Story Boat tackles a very serious issue that affects many children today . . . . [A]n immensely enjoyable read.” —CM Reviews

“The creators tell a refugee story in simple language with everyday objects, making it graspable for young readers.” —Publishers Weekly
"A timely story that will allow parents and teachers to open a discussion with young readers about the experiences of refugees." School Library Connection
“Maclear’s poetic text and Kheiriyeh’s mixed media illustrations explore the continuing refugee crisis in this gentle picture book." —Globe and Mail
"[A] beautifully illustrated picture book." —Tablet
“A lyrical picture book about the migrant experience through a child's eyes, dedicated to Syrian refugee children.” —49th Shelf

Other titles by Kyo Maclear

Other titles by Rashin Kheiriyeh