Ships in the Field

Ships in the Field

Susanne Gervay & Anna Pignataro

Ford Street, $26.95

Ships in the Field is a beautiful and moving picture book that speaks into the very nature of Australian society — a society of immigrants.

It follows one particular family — a little girl, her parents and her toy dog, Brownie.

We discover that, before the war, the little girl’s father was a farmer, her mother a teacher. As they are forced to flee to another country, the story talks about some of the struggles many migrant people face, including language, from which the title comes.

“Ships in the field” really means “sheeps in the field”.

Author Susanne Gervay and illustrator Anna Pignataro are part of Australia’s immigrant and refugee story. Susanne’s parents were post-war Hungarian refugees. Anna’s parents fled from post-war Italy. Both families migrated to Australia.

The story addresses the very real issues for children and adults in our world with deep compassion and gentle humour. It is a story of war, migration, loss and healing.

Karyl Davison

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