Donkeys Cannot Fly on Planes

Donkeys Can’t Fly on Planes is a very special book. A collection of 25 true stories of survival written by young South Sudanese refugees who, with their families, have found a new home in Australia. With the help of dedicated and caring staff at the Latrobe English Language Centre and the Liddiard Street Primary School in Traralgon, eastern Victoria, the children were encouraged to record and illustrate their stories.

These beautifully told tales, are written with disarming directness, honesty and clarity. They are in turns harrowing, joyous, heartbreaking and celebratory, and bear witness to the refugee experience and the resilience of children. The young authors are to be congratulated for offering us their observations, their natural poetic vision, their unique insights and sharp eye for detail.  We thank them, and welcome them to Australia, a country where they have already made a contribution through writing stories which enhance our understanding of what it means to be a refugee and a child of contemporary Africa. (Arnold Zable, acclaimed Australian author, storyteller and human rights advocate.)

Listen to Waleed Aly interview Victoria Ryle for ABC Radio National Drive program – ‘Losing Words & Finding Stories’

The community was enormously proud of its first book, and it was clear that families had more stories to tell. In late 2013 Kids’ Own Publishing embarked on the Communities Connect project ‘In My Kingdom’, which brought together children, teenagers, parents and artists in intergenerational dialogue. Over 8 months Kids’ Own artists worked with community leaders, teachers, wellbeing coordinators and librarians to support families to recount and share important family and cultural stories through workshops and one-on-one interviews with family members. Parents told stories, and their children responded with words and illustration. Two books were the result: In My Kingdom, published in late 2014 and All the Way Home (to be published May 2015).

You can purchase copies of Donkeys Can’t Fly on Planes directly from BOCEP. All proceeds go towards building an orphanage and school – the Bor Orphanage Community Education Project – in South Sudan.

Published by Kids’ Own Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-0-9874290-3-2