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Refugees relates the adventures of pair of wild blue-billed ducks whose home is destroyed when their swamp is dug up and they have to find a safe place to live. The difficult and dangerous journey they undertake seems doomed to failure as they try unsuccessfully to settle in different environments, including an ocean, a busy river port and a swamp where duck shooting is allowed. They are close to exhaustion when the intervention of an unknown person changes their fate.
David Miller's colourful and highly detailed paper sculptures add a three-dimensional quality to the story that captures the reader's interest and expands on the text. The scenes are presented from different perspectives that draw the viewer into the world as the ducks see it. Although the language and illustrations in the book are easy for young readers to engage with, there are hidden depths that will intrigue and challenge older readers. Refugees was named an Honour book in the Children Book Council of Australia's Picture Book of the Year award in 2005.
David Miller runs his own graphic design and illustration studio. In creating his paper sculptures, David uses coloured paper with paint, pencils and oil pastels and shapes the paper with scissors and scalpel, and by bending, folding and gluing. Other books David has written and illustrated include What's for Lunch, Carousel, Where There's Smoke... and Just Like You and Me. David has three grown up children and grandchildren.
Before reading the book
During and after reading the book