Parents' Guide to

Faraway Home

By Sharon Asta, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Captures the emotions of an immigrant family.

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Descriptive words evoke a sense of Ethiopia many readers are unfamiliar with, yet give the homeland a character and realism. Author Jane Kurtz calls forth a loving picture of shepherds piping haunting songs of longing in the hills and a young boy who sleeps on the floor of his mother's home and thinks of the moon and stars as night-lights to comfort him. Kurtz brings the relationship of a father and daughter into the reader's life and cleverly guides the reader with haunting words and descriptive passages. Readers will feel the emotional tug along with Desta, who is being temporarily separated from her father.

Stunningly realistic illustrations evoke a rugged wild beauty of the homeland. They depict character expressions and landscapes that capture personality with the smallest of details -- like an upturned face, the placement of a hand on a blanket, or the love reflected in the characters' eyes. This poignant, gentle story will prompt many discussions to challenge and excite a child's imagination and will help them understand a world beyond their own.

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