‘Every child should hear stories about immigrants’ says Irish author who tackles migration in latest book

‘Every child should hear stories about immigrants’ says Irish author who tackles migration in latest book

AN Irish author who is determined to foster a sense of empathy for migrants among children has made the experience of immigration the focus of her latest book.

Dublin-based writer Margaret Anne Suggs has written an allegorical picture book story which tackles issues of migration, acceptance and community, at a time when emotions are running high on the topic in Ireland.

In The Dandelion’s Tale, Suggs - who was born in the US but relocated to Ireland, where she has dual citizenship, to pursue a Master's Degree at the National College of Art and Design – tells a migration story through a family of dandelions.

Margaret Anne Suggs' book tells a migration story through flowers

“I believe that to foster empathy, every child should have stories about the experiences of immigrants,” she explains.

“In this allegory, the dandelions – who are just weeds after all – are made to move on when they are confronted with tools, machines and potions,” she adds.

“They float away, taking their hopes with them, and journey to find a peaceful place to reseed and settle."

Children's author and illustrator Margaret Anne Suggs lives in Dublin

Suggs, a children's book illustrator who has published more than a dozen books to date, was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland bursary to support The Dandelion's Tale.

Due to be released on July 18, the book is published by Welsh publishing house Graffeg, which is located in Cardiff Bay.

Suggs' book has been supported by an Arts Council Ireland bursary

“An allegory on issues facing refugees as they seek to make a home outside of their native land, this is both timely and easy to read, as well as laden with meaning,” Matthew Howard, Publishing Director at Graffeg, said.

“Author and illustrator Margaret Suggs has created a story that is perfect for opening conversations concerning the plight of those forced to migrate, and we’re delighted she’s chosen Graffeg to publish it,” he added.

The Dandelion's Tale is released next month

Suggs serves on the Board of Directors for both Illustrators Ireland and the International Board on Books for Young People Ireland.

She also lectures part-time at Ballyfermot College in Dublin.