An art book by Bologna Ragazzi Award–winner Greder (The Island, 2008, etc.) about the European migrant crisis.
Dark-toned, charcoal-dominant illustrations on wordless pages portray two men, one with a light complexion and the other one darker, eating fish. The white man sells the other rifles, which are delivered across the sea and carried by soldiers. A white man resembling the one who sold the weapons stands right behind the soldiers’ commanders, suggesting that he’s commanding too. Then there is war, death, and displacement. The people escaping war walk, then appear crammed on a truck. They talk to smugglers and get on a boat that founders, hopelessly overloaded. The last illustration, of the sinking boat, hearkens back to a man appearing at the beginning of the book, whose drowned body sinks to the bottom of the sea and is eaten by fish—the same fish served to the two men closing the arms deal. In an afterword, Italian journalist Alessandro Leogrande dubs the illustrator’s narrative a human “food chain,” questioning “the relationship between Europe and the dictatorships from which people are fleeing en masse” and connecting Europe’s “inability to understand this modern-day exodus” to a “denial of the humanity of those who travel by sea” and the political reasons behind the journey.
A chilling and thought-provoking book about human, political, and economic aspects of the refugee crisis in a medium that makes it accessible to a wide array of audiences. (Informational picture book. 8-adult)