Reviewed by Debbie Reese
The first library I knew as a child was a cardboard box full of books. You see, I went to a government day school on my reservation. We didn’t have a library. What we had was a librarian from the nearby public school, who would drive to our school every couple of weeks, with a box full of books. That was our library. That I remember it is an indicator of who much books mattered to me then, and now.
Libraries of books are, indeed, special places.
Books in libraries can be very special, too. A lot of people have warm memories of a book they liked. They’ve also got memories of horrible books, too, so I’ll note that as well!
The point is, books touch our lives. Some of them find a place in our beings. They snuggle in and keep us warm in ways that we might not be conscious of all the time, but, they are there. That warmth is what I’ve felt today (again) as I read (again) Dreamers by Yuyi Morales.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
Published by Holiday House on 2018-09
Genres: Biography and Autobiography, Central America, Immigration and Emigration
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: American Indians in Children's Literature
Also by this author: Little Night/Nochecita, Rudas: Nino's Horrendous Hermanitas, Just a Minute
Caldecott Honor artist and five-time Pura Belpré Award winner Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story in this picture-book tribute to the transformative power of hope . . . and reading.
In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn't come empty-handed.
She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams...and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and five-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales's gorgeous new picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly's passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.
Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It's a story about family. And it's a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.
The lyrical text is complemented by sumptuously detailed illustrations, rich in symbolism. Also included are a brief autobiographical essay about Yuyi's own experience, a list of books that inspired her (and still do), and a description of the beautiful images, textures, and mementos she used to create this book.
A parallel Spanish-language edition, Soñadores, is also available.