The BookWalker's Top Pick titles includes works of bestselling authors and emerging writers. Titles were selected and voted by our staff. Please note: the selection process is heavily biased but fairly influenced by personal preference and the editor's opinions.
This is the story
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.
Reviews and What Readers Say
" An immigrant's tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love. This story begins with a union between mother and son, with arms outstretched in the midst of a new beginning. . . . Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as 'soñadores of the world.' A resplendent masterpiece."
―Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“ The magical art marries the succinct and powerful narrative in a resplendent celebration of literacy, language, and the transformative power of the picture book form . . . This excellent memoir encapsulates the fears, hopes, and dreams that come along with immigrating to a new place . . . A timely and much-needed selection.”
―School Library Journal
" This is such a beautiful and personal story of the author’s immigration to the U.S. It is told with short and elegant prose, and beautiful, detailed artwork on each page. It is also a story about the power of books. Yuyi’s introduction to a library and the reasons she eventually becomes an author herself. I will be using this book in my fourth grade class to open the discussion on immigration during our immigration unit, and also to focus on literacy and the importance of books. There are many areas of discussion to be found from this book. You can even discuss the illustrations because they are so detailed. I also appreciated the author adding pages at the end that tell her immigration story in more detail, share a list of books that inspired her, and how she made this book. A beautiful picture book about the American dream and a tribute to the art of picture books."
―Tomas Milo, Amazon Client Verified Purchase
" I had the distinct pleasure to hear the author present this book at the BookExpo America Children's Book breakfast this year. I was in tears with the story, the message and the images. I ordered it then but had to wait three months until last week to get my copy. As a physician and children's book author, I have shared this with colleagues and I hope that they promote it also. My heartfelt thanks to Yuyi Morales for opening up her world to mine and to so many others! "
―Robert A. Saul, Amazon Client Verified Purchase
“ Purest of love. One from the heart! A book that gives hope and teaches love.
―Lex Tallis, The BookWalker
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Born in Mexico and raised among giant grandmothers, mossy house walls, and rampaging feral gardens, Yuyi Morales fostered a strong bond with the magical stories that ran in her family. Since having immigrated to the USA in 1994, she has drawn from her family's legacy and her heritage to create some of the most celebrated Latino works for children's books.
Yuyi is the 2004 winner of the Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration for her book Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book as well as the 2008 winner for Los Gatos Black on Halloween (written by Marissa Montes), given to a Latino illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
Her book Harvesting Hope; The story of Cesar Chavez (written by Kathell Krull), was the recipient of the Christopher Award and the Jane Adams Award, and was deemed one of the best books of 2003 by Child Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and School Library Journal.
Yuyi is also the creator of ALA notable book, Little Night, co-released in Spanish as Nochecita, and winner of the 2008 SCBWI Golden Kite Medal.
Some of other recognitions her work has received include the Americas Award, the California book Award, and the Tomas Rivera Award won in 2004 and 2008.
Asked about her work Yuyi says, "I strive to capture the incredible beauty of the every day forms using textures and colors as another way to reveal the heart of the story. I also pursue glow and luminosity with resolve. If I could ask for a talent, it would be to become a color genius."