Sanna Pelliccioni: We Had to Leave

This book is a bit scary, but it has a happy ending.

Author: Sanna Pelliccioni
Finnish original: Meidän piti lähteä
Publisher: S&S, 2019
Number of pages: 48 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original

We Had to Leave tells, in pictures, the story of a family fleeing war to find a place of safety.

The book has no text – readers can invent the words themselves. The child can take the leading role, as narrator. They can decide how the story proceeds, how it begins and how it ends.

This book does, indeed, have many stories – some of them more, some less scary. The story is determined by who tells it, what mood they are in, what they have experienced and what they know.

Telling stories increases a sense of community, and develops language and imagination. The wordless book is suitable for children of all ages. It is also good for immigrants: the wordless book can be read with others on a basis of equality.

“This picture story is an excellent way of dealing with a refugee family’s journey to seeking asylum. The wordless tale progresses convincingly through the power of Pelliccioni’s gently expressive drawings. The subject may cause uncertainty in adult readers, but there is no need to over-explain things; the picture story demands adults simply to listen.”
– Aamulehti newspaper

Also available:
Matias and Everything that Was Far Away (2021)
I Remember You with Love (2020)

About the author:
Sanna Pelliccioni