Written & Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales

For ages: 4-8 years

Language: English & Spanish

Topics Covered: Immigration, Courage, Bravery, Family, Love, Community.

Summary: This is the story about a woman and her young child immigrating to San Francisco.  Trying to navigate this unfamiliar world was difficult, especially with a language barrier.  The narrator admits mistakes are made in this new place, such as playing in a public fountain.  One day, the two are walking and come upon a library,  In awe, a new world is opened up to them!  Trusting the librarians, the library became a place of respite and education.

Simply written and beautifully illustrated, the storyline encompasses the feeling of being in a new place and the fear of not fitting in.  The book also emphasizes the importance of public spaces where individuals can exist without pressure to spend money.  Learning a new culture and language can be daunting, and libraries can decrease the pressure and cost associated with classrooms.

Reflection Questions:

  • Have you ever moved to a new place?
  • How did you feel after you moved?
  • If you felt scared or nervous, what made you feel better in this new place?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Lots of people move to new countries.  What might they be worried about when they do so, and what might make them feel better?  Make a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” Guide for new families moving in, with landmarks and important places.  Make sure to include libraries, parks, and whatever else you can think of!
  • Visit your local library and explore.  What might be there already to make new members of the community feel welcome, and what else might it need?  See if you can work with local librarians to create a program to welcome new families in the area, so they can meet each other and other people that are new to the community.
  • Learn about bilingual books, and hold a bilingual story hour at your school or community library.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

yuyi moralesYuyi Morales was born in the city of flowers, Xalapa, Mexico,  where the springs came out from the sand, or so the story says.Once she was a child, but she spent most of that time thinking about extraterrestrials and waiting for them to come in their UFO to take her away. She tried to be a psychic; she wanted to move things with her mind. She practiced to be an acrobat too—and broke many things at home. Then she grew and became an artist and a writer. Oh, well.