One smile. One smile can break boundaries and illuminate the darkness of the unknown. In no uncertain terms, one smile — one tiny, simple smile — can be life changing. Sometimes we forget how easy it is, in the midst of too much yelling or too many other deafening noises, to smile at someone who needs it. But this one simple action can move mountains, and it is so important to remember that for so many people, a smile may be all it takes to carry them through a day.
One of my insta pals (but I can’t remember WHO! please remind me!) recommended My Two Blankets, by Irena Kobald, with illustrations by Freya Blackwood. In this gorgeous story, a girl called Cartwheel moves to a new country with her auntie, and in her new surroundings, everything is strange. Only a metaphorical blanket brings her comfort, until the day that she meets a new girl and the two embark on a friendship that begins with a smile. Soon Carthweel’s friend is teaching her new words and helping her acclimate to her new world. And as Cartwheel becomes more and more comfortable, she begins to weave a new blanket, one that grows warmer and more comfortable every day.
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My Two Blankets is beautiful and touching, and it sheds a much-needed light on the refugee experience as well as what it means to be a stranger in a strange land. As a parent, there is nothing I want more than to instill in my boys the importance of being global citizens, citizens who celebrate diversity and welcome the opportunity to learn from those of different backgrounds. It is so easy to fear “other,” but this heartfelt and touching story reminds us that “other” is something we can so easily embrace if we simply open our hearts and minds. It can start with a smile. A hello. The extension of a hand. And sometimes, that’s all it takes to change a life. My Two Blankets is a must read multicultural friendship story, especially in today’s times. A beautiful, moving story that gets two huge trunks up.
Want the book? Get it here! My Two Blankets, by Irena Kobald. *This is an affiliate link.