Petar's story ISBN: 9780711220638
Published by Frances Lincoln, 2003
Petar and his family and friends live a happy life in their village. He plays his violin for all occasions - 'Christmas, Easter, sowing and harvest, weddings and birthdays' - even when he's herding the cows. But one day war comes to the village and Petar's parents must make a heartbreaking decision. Petar, Gregor and Anna must leave their valley with their mother and find their way over the mountain and the border as refugees. Once in a town they are given shelter, but Petar can no longer sing or play his violin, and with Christmas approaching, he is deeply unhappy. Will they see father again? And will they ever be able to go home? His music is what saves him from despair, and as a new tune comes to him, one redolent of spring and hope, he begins to believe that all will be well. This sophisticated and very beautiful picture book carries all the anguish of family separation and leaving home. Binch's highly realistic, painterly illustrations are superb, and the end papers with desolate scenes of the bombed and ruined village are only too believable. The setting appears eastern European without being specific. A lovely, moving story.