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Nadine Kaadan
Age 5-7 years

Life has changed for Yazan. He no longer goes to school every day; he can’t go to the park and he doesn’t even see his friend who lives next door. His parents are obsessed with the news and his mother no longer spends time painting with him. Life is so boring! One day Yazan decides to go out on his own. He finds everything is different and there are scary sounds all around him. Luckily, his father finds him before Yazan is in even greater danger.

Beautifully illustrated and sensitively written, this picture book shows how living in a war zone can affect children’s lives. It also demonstrates how in even the most difficult situations there are ways to find pleasure and look forward to a better ‘tomorrow’.

Many children experiencing life during the 2020 pandemic will relate to Yazan’s story.

Author/illustrator Nadine Kaadan acknowledges this as she reads the book aloud.
Watch and listen here


Share the story

Read aloud
Before reading the book look at the title and cover image together. Share thoughts on what this story might be about. Read the book aloud pausing to talk about what is happening when your child wants to. You might like to pause and share thoughts on what Yazan should do when he goes outside, and everything is different. Should he stay outside or go back home?

Join in
As you share the book again your child could join in with parts of the reading such as the sound effects and Yazan’s shout ‘I want to go to the park NOWWWWWWWWW!!’ or his mother’s reply ‘Not today Yazan.’

Tell the story
Once familiar with the story your child could tell it to you, using the illustrations as a guide. They may choose to use their own words to express what is happening.

Talk about the story

  • Look back at Yazan’s expressions on different pages of the story and talk together about how he is feeling.

  • Yazan’s experience living in a war zone has some similarities to life during the 2020 Pandemic. You could talk about this; what is the same and what is different.

  • Talk about ways Yazan amuses himself when he is bored – and what you or your child do. Some of these things may be things to do together such as word games or things to do separately.

  • Talk together about what your child misses most when unable to go to school or the park and what she or he would look forward to doing most.


Things to make and do

Make a list
Make a list of ways to pass the time when you are bored. Some of these could be things to do together such as playing word games or things to do on your own. Try out some of Yazan’s methods doodling, making paper aeroplanes or making a castle of pillows.

Design your own imaginary park
Yazan’s mum paints an imaginary park for him. Your child could create their own design for an imaginary park or you could make a model with a construction kit or junk materials. What will you include in it? Will it have a theme?

Write a letter
If you could write to Yazan what would you say to him? Your child could write an imaginary letter sympathizing, comparing experiences or reassuring him about a better ‘tomorrow.’

Draw a picture
Your child could draw a picture of their ideal ‘tomorrow’ with some of the things they would like to do if able to go out after a long time indoors such as meet family and friends, go to school or the park.

Find out more

Look at the back of the book with your child where Nadine Kaadan speaks of her aims and describes how her own firsthand experiences in Syria and how these led her to create this book.

Read Jasmine Sneeze another book by author illustrator Nadine Kaadan