Thursday, January 10, 2019

Coming to America: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

One day we bundled gifts in our backpack
and crossed the bridge.

And when we reached the other side, thirsty, in awe, unable to go back, we became immigrants, migrantes.

There were so many things we did not know.

All immigrants--whether they come to America in the seventeenth century or the the twenty-first century--come as strangers to a strange land. There are different landscapes, different languages, and different people, and some new ways to follow. In her newest picture book, Caldecott-winning author-artist Yuyi Morales vividly describes her entry with her infant son, the frightening and funny experiences that all newcomers encounter--new words, new foods, new rules, and intimidating places. But Morales soon discovers that old and time-honored tradition--the American public library--which offers a place where immigrants have always been welcome, learning the ways of their new world from the children's stories there,

Books became our language. Books became our home. Books became our life.

We learned to speak, to write. To make our voices heard!

In this memoir of her first years in America, Dreamers (Holiday House, 2018), author-illustrator Morales tells her own story of survival and success in poetic text and evocative artwork. Morales uses bright mixed-media art (even utilizing a pen from artist Eric Carle) that delights the eye and tells the old story of the newcomer dreamers in a spirited and effervescent illustrations. She also includes a bibliography of the classic children's books that educated her young son and inspired her imagination and drive to become a picture book illustrator herself.

Publisher's Weekly celebrates her "warm and sparkling prose that moves easily from English to Spanish and back," and Horn Book Magazine says ""A wise book and, to praise it in its own words, "resplendent," an eloquent vision of the "resilience" and "hope" of the "dreamers.... "

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