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The Ferris Wheel

Illustrated by Hu¨seyin Sönmezay / Translated by Julie Albright
Published by Crocodile Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

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About The Book

A powerful and heartwarming story for children about empathy, hope, and longing.

This is the story of two parallel journeys in cities far apart. A mother and a son leave their home for a better day, while a father and a daughter leave their home for a safer day. The concerns of the parents are almost the same as they watch over their kids, but their experiences are sadly very different. The father and daughter are fleeing a city devastated by war, leaving their home—and beloved goldfish—behind. All through their journey the goldfish follows them as a symbol of longing and hope. The two families’ paths finally cross on a Ferris wheel and, as they go round and round, trading places with each other, we understand that we are all connected.

With beautiful illustrations full of symbolism, this simple and powerful story of displacement encourages us all to welcome newcomers with compassion and curiosity.

About The Author

Tülin Kozikoğlu is one of Turkey’s most treasured children’s book authors. She has published over 34 picture books, which have won numerous awards and have been translated into over 20 languages. She now conducts creative writing workshops for adults and children, and leads volunteer projects to promote literacy and Turkish culture. She lives in Istanbul with her family.

About The Illustrator

Hüseyin Sönmezay was born in Bulgaria. He attended vocational high school with a concentration on graphic design. He graduated from the Painting Department of Faculty of Fine Arts. He has illustrated more than thirty picture books along with various magazine illustrations.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Crocodile Books (November 21, 2023)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781623717216
  • Ages: 4 - 7

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Raves and Reviews

"This [book] follows parallel stories centering on families in vastly different situations … [with] compelling art, shining bright and conveying hope … This tender, cleverly told tale reminds readers that we’re all on the same ride, no matter how different our lives may seem. Characters are tan-skinned and dark-haired. The disparities may seem stark, but the similarities resonate the deepest. (Picture book. 5-8)"

– — Kirkus Reviews

“Painterly illustrations track the parallel stories of two families in this picture book about the pain of leaving home and the hope of brighter days … A reminder that you never know someone else’s story, this heartrending picture book urges compassion.”

– —Foreword

“[A] thoughtful title about ‘the dreams we share, and our universal right to seek safety’ … The fates of two children—a boy on an outing and a girl escaping from conflict—are contrasted in this taut parallel telling by Turkish author Kozikog?lu and Bulgarian illustrator Sönmezay. Ages 4–7.”

– —Publishers Weekly

“[An] uplifting story of lives united from two distinct and unsettling perspectives. On every spread, two similar plots unfold with often identical text. In one, a boy and his mother leave home, his favorite stuffed bear left behind after a night of fireworks in the distance; in the other, a girl and her papa have to abandon their home, where bombs fall nearby, and where her pet goldfish will stay. Onlookers will follow the dual-progress of each parent and child: on the lefthand page, life is normal, while on the right, father and daughter are refugees … The simplicity of the structure gives the plot power; by employing parallels, children will see the author’s expressed hope in a note—that we are all the same. Very moving images accompany the tale … this work will echo with readers, or perhaps haunt them—either way, the book is unforgettable.”

– —School Library Journal

“The separate journeys of two different families, who have similar needs, hopes, and dreams, converge in this thought-provoking [picture book] … luminous and affecting oil paintings reveal vastly different circumstances … This expertly designed, empathetic picture book powerfully conveys how life can be suddenly upturned.”

– —Booklist

"A beautifully profound yet subtle story about refugees and global connection, The Ferris Wheel engages its text and illustrations in conversation, capturing the essence of what a picture book should be."

– —BookPage, starred review

“A beautifully profound yet subtle story about refugees and global connection, The Ferris Wheel engages its text and illustrations in conversation, capturing the essence of what a picture book should be … Sönmezay’s stunning digital illustrations are as textured and tangible as if one were standing in front of a physical canvas … [T]he book will begin a conversation that can be returned to again and again.”

– — BookPage

“[The book] spread by spread and with nearly identical dialogue, juxtaposes the two different journeys of the boy and his mother and the girl and her father. One is safe and comfortable while the other is steeped in danger. In one striking spread, the boy leans over a bridge to point at a swan. ‘Don’t get too close to the edge,’ says his mother. On the recto, the father says the same to the girl, now a war refugee, as they navigate a small raft in the water, leaving the country they knew as home … This sensitive story should prompt readers to consider that idea along with the importance of empathy when encountering strangers.”

– — Horn Book Magazine

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