Parents' Guide to


By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Gorgeous, joyous book about immigrant mom and child.

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While this exquisitely illustrated book follows the unsure path of an immigrant mom and child, it's also a heartfelt love letter to libraries and a joyous celebration of picture books. In the beginning, when the two were "unable to understand and afraid to speak, we made lots of mistakes," we see them puzzling over a map of their new city, and confronted by a policeman when they sit in a fountain. But when they discover the library and its bountiful children's section, the book takes an ecstatic turn. Author-illustrator Yuyi Morales conveys her deep love of picture books, showing the familiar covers of many of the books she came to love. Those images will be especially fun for readers, who will recognize their own old friends.

The art in Dreamers is stunning, rich with Mexican imagery. When the mom and child pack to leave, "we bundled gifts in our backpack," including a Day of the Dead skeleton, a howling dog, a guitar, and a smoking volcano, underscoring Morales's point that immigrants come bearing the gift of their culture. And the book itself slyly illustrates the point. In her new country, Morales was introduced to, and came to love, picture books. Now she creates picture books using the wealth of images she grew up with, generously offering us a lovely marriage of cultures. The list at the end of "Books That Inspired Me" is the perfect cap to this greathearted book.

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