Kindergarten Books > The Suitcase

The Suitcase

Text and Illustrations: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

When a strange creature appears with a suitcase, he arouses the curiosity of other animals. What is inside that suitcase? When they it open, they begin to understand this stranger. A touching story about leaving a place and adapting to a new one, about the meaning of home and community.

Family Activities

What happens when a new family comes to our neighborhood? And what happens when a new kid with different features and a unique story comes to our child’s kindergarten? And what if we are different from the people around us?


Dear Parents,

This story enables us to have a dialogue with our child on important topics such as: supporting people in need, sympathizing with them, welcoming strangers or newcomers with kindness and affection, and helping them adapt to their new environment.

It is a story about home, and what it means to us: is a home a building with a garden or is it a place in which our loved ones live and where we build relationships and memories with the people around us?

This is a story about trust, and about the barriers that we put around us to exclude others when we are suspicious of them and when we hold on to our prejudices and stereotypes.

Family Activities

  • Let’s stop at the first page when the strange animal appears in front of the other three animals. Why do they see him as strange? Which people do we see as “strangers”? Why?
  • On page 9, there is a discussion among animals about breaking the suitcase. The fox insists on breaking it and knowing its contents, while the rabbit refuses. We can chat with our child about their respective motives. Does he choose to be a fox or a rabbit in this situation?
  • Let’s imagine together the story from strange animal’s perspective. Why did he leave his home to reach a new place? What did he encounter on his way? How does he feel when he is away from home? Do we know people like him?
  • The animals support the stranger by welcoming him among them and building him a house to replace the one he lost. How can we support people who left their country and their home, perhaps willingly or by force, and came to us?
  • For the strange animal, a home is a place where one feels safe, comfortable and loved. What does home mean to our child?
  • Together, we can look at the two pictures hanging on the wall on the last page. We can talk about the differences between them. What do the colors tell us in each picture?
  • If we want to travel to a remote place for a long time, what do put in our suitcase? Our child can draw the things they take with them.
  • Some pictures are dear to our hearts and we keep them or carry them with us wherever we go. It’s nice to sit together as a family, and share these special pictures together.
  • Enjoy your reading!

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