Review by Beverly Slapin
On the cover is a little girl, comfortably lying down with her head resting on her papá’s leg. Her body is relaxed and her eyes are wide open; she’s happily playing with her toy bunny. Papá is sitting upright, leaning on his backpack. He’s looking warily into the distance.
Towards the middle of the story, readers will see that Papá and daughter are riding on the top of a train. They are refugees, fleeing for their lives, fleeing to El Norte, hitching rides on one of the old, rusted-out trains they call “La Bestia” (“the beast”), but this child does not know any of this. All she knows is that she’s with her papá who loves her, and that’s all that counts. Continue reading.
Dos Conejos Blancos by Jairo Buitrago
Illustrator: Rafael Yockteng
Published by Groundwood Books on October 1st 2016
Genres: Immigration and Emigration, Central America
Reading Level: Grades 3-5, Grades 1-2
Review Source: De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
Buy at Powell's Books
Also by this author: Walk with Me, On the Other Side of the Garden
Publisher's synopsis: In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the US border.
They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn't know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey.
As many thousands of people, especially children, in Mexico and Central America continue to make the arduous journey to the US border in search of a better life, this is an important book that shows a young migrant's perspective.