The Day War Came

The Day War Came 

By Nicola Davies and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

“Imagine if, on an ordinary day, war came and turned your town to rubble. Imagine if you had to make a dangerous journey all alone, with no welcome at the end. Imagine you had lost everything and everyone, and then a child, just like you, gave you something small but very, very precious…”

I recently went into Waterstones after I finished work the other day and walked into the children’s section, as I do every time I visit any bookstore. The title of this book really struck me, so I walked over and started to read this book.

Picture books are amazing. The words and images of a picture book can carry any message, and I believe that it is so important for young children to be given the opportunity to understand as much as possible about the world around them.

The Day War Came is a powerful and necessary picture book – the journey of a little girl who describes how her life and her world changed so quickly, when war came to her hometown, and is forced to become a refugee. When war destroys everything she has ever known. She describes how she had to flee her country on her own. She reaches a place where she believes that war has not reached. She arrives at a school where children are learning about volcanoes, singing and drawing birds. Just like she was learning about in her own country. She goes inside and the teacher tells her that “there is no room for her” “no chair for her to sit on”, and tells her “to go away.”




Children then each bring chairs so that the refugee child and others that are in her situation will be able to come to school.

“The day war came there were flowers on the window sill and my father sang my baby brother to sleep.”

Reading this book to children may open up a conversation about what is on the news everyday – and how we can help. So, as teachers and parents, we need to be ready to talk about what it means.


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