Title: Molly and the Shipwreck (Molly #5)
Author: Malachy Doyle
Illustrator: Andrew Whitson
Publisher: Graffeg
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
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Description: When out fishing with her dad, Moly hears a cry for help.  A woman and her children in a rickety old boat are in danger of capsizing!
Helping them ashore and giving them food and shelter for the night, Molly finds out the strangers are seeking a new home in a safe place, and she is determined to help them.  But will her new friend Amina and her family be allowed to stay on the island?  And will Amina’s father ever be reunited with his wife and children?
The fifth book in the acclaimed Molly series is a story for our times, a tale of finding a place in our lives and in our hearts for those in need.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review: This is a great and fun picture book explaining an important issue that affects so many today.  Shortly after her friend leaves the island, Molly’s mum gets a letter telling them that Molly’s school might close down if they don’t get enough children to attend.  Meanwhile, while out with her dad on the boat, Molly encounters some people in trouble on a small boat.  Molly and her dad help them to safety and soon after Molly becomes friends with the little girl Amina who was rescued along with  her mum and brother.  Molly wants Amina and her family to stay on the island, but the family might not be able to.  ‘Molly and the Shipwreck’ is wider than A4 in size and is filled with thick matt pages of colourful illustrations and text.

Molly and the Shipwreck book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

This is the first book in the Molly series that I have read and starts with the moment her friend Nan’s family have left the island.  Distressed that her school might shut down, Molly wants the new refugee girl to be able to go to school, but the family are soon taken away to a camp.  This is an interesting book to me as I’ve not come across a picture book yet that tried to explain the issues of people trying to cross the ocean seeking a better life in another country.  The story is quite simple and doesn’t dwell on any bad things, in fact we never know why Amina’s family have travelled across the ocean, only that they do and that they get separated from Amina’s father.  The story has quite a lovely and happy ending, despite how the family has to leave at some point after arriving.  I couldn’t help but feel like this ending was overly cheerful and didn’t explain at all how or why certain things happen in the real world, but it does try to show children what happens to some people today and I do like how this migrant issue is shown in a book aimed at children.

The illustrations are so colourful and happy, and I really love how everybody looks.  The characters all have such wonderful expressions and the images of the area behind them is so lovely and detailed, especially the pages at the front and back of the book.  I also love how Amina’s family all look different to Molly and the other islanders due to their hair shape, but how there is no specific look to them that suggests they are of a particular race or come from any specific country in our world today.

Molly and the Shipwreck book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

Overall this is an interesting book and I do like how this story ends.  It’s certainly an interesting and good topic which could spark wider discussions for children, and has some absolutely wonderful illustrations accompanying the words.  The book does gloss over the issue of migrants a bit too much for me though, and I think I might have liked perhaps a few brief words at the end of the book about the real life issue to help put the picture book in better context for children, but overall it’s still a great book to look at and I just love how  all the illustrations look, making me want to look back at this again and again! 🙂

What do you think of this book?  Do you like children’s books that focus on important issues like this?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂