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The Suitcase

The Suitcase

Author Chris Naylor-Ballesteros




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When a strange-looking animal arrives pulling a big suitcase, the other animals are curious. What on earth could be inside that suitcase? A teacup? Maybe. A table and chair? Perhaps. A whole home and hillside with trees? This stranger must be fibbing! But when the animals break into the suitcase and discover a very special photograph, they begin to understand what the strange creature has been through, and together they create a very special welcome present . . .


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What the Critics Said

“At a time when over 65 million people are forcibly displaced around the world, this beautifully illustrated and wise, gentle tale of tolerance and kindness for fellow humans resonates deeply. I hope all parents share The Suitcase with their children.”

– Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner

“[O]ne of the most empathetic children’s books on giving kindness to strangers ever published […] Be warned, this will make you burst into tears.”

– Amanda Craig, The New Statesman

“This original, striking and simple picturebook about animals responding to the arrival of a strange creature who is tired and sad and carries a suitcase full of memories, is a beautifully succinct and powerful lesson in empathy for outsiders.”

– Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times

“We slip so easily into being tribal, into being suspicious of people who seem different to us. The Suitcase gently and powerfully explores the transformation that comes when we manage to open our minds and hearts.”

– Miranda McKearney OBE, Empathy Lab

“Beautifully illustrated, The Suitcase explores themes of displacement and difference in a way young audiences can easily engage with.”

– Laura Padoan, spokesperson for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency

“The Suitcase is a beautiful picture book about kindness to strangers and not knowing what other people’s stories are. It made us feel sadder but gladder at the same time and it is so wonderful and enriching.”

– Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

“The strength and simplicity of this picture book’s message is enhanced by the use of a limited but carefully chosen palette set against white space.”

– Ann Lazim, CLPE

“Written in response to the refugee crisis, this empathetic, timely story is an excellent way of exploring the issue with young children.”

– Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

“A sweet, gentle introduction to the idea of what home is, and that maybe home is something we bring with us.”

– Margaret Wallace-Jones, The Alligator’s Mouth

“A powerful and memorable way to introduce children to the idea of kindness and compassion.”

– Flora Thomas, Absolutely Mama

“The message here is powerful and profound and beautifully served by the simplicity of the telling.”

– Andrea Reece, LoveReading4Kids

“A powerful and deceptively simple picture book about kindness and friendship, especially towards strangers.”

Reading Zone

“I’m so glad this book exists […] it’s beautiful in its simplicity, and full of hope.”

– Jo Arnold, The Little Literary Society (blog)

“A wonderful story which encourages empathy and compassion to displaced people. This apparently simple tale about a suitcase, a journey and a group of friends deserves to become a classic.”

– Louise Nettleton, Book Murmuration (blog)

Rights sold

Hebrew, Italian, French, Spanish EU, Catalan, German, US English, Dutch, Chinese (simplified), Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese (complex), Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish

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