Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 241

Picture Book: Going Home

Author: Eve Bunting

Illustrator: David Diaz

Summary: Carlos and his family are legal immigrants in the USA who drive south across the border into Mexico for Christmas. He and his sisters were born in Mexico, but they don’t remember that time so Mexico doesn’t really feel like home. Once arriving at his grandparents’ house, Carlos is swept up in the welcome and festivities the whole village has prepared for his family's return. Carlos begins to understand his parents’ love for this community, a home they left for better work opportunities as legal farm workers and better schools for their children. He and his sisters begin to see the contrast in the two cultures and how much their parents have given up for them. Likewise, they begin to understand a much more expansive understanding of “home.”

Hanna’s Comments: This book takes place at Christmas, but there is no religious content here so it is really a secular book. The loving way Carlos and his family is welcomed is particularly noteworthy. There is a sense of admiration towards Carlos’ family since they immigrated and regularly send money back home for their extended family's basic necessities. When reading this book, explain that this pattern of immigration and sending back funds to family is a common phenomena happening all over the world.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper Collins, 1996

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: aliens/immigrants/refugees/strangers, celebration/party, community, dance/dancing, exile/separation/walls, family, heritage, home, hospitality, identity/names, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, joy, Mexico, neighborhood, North America, parents/parental love, passion, siblings/sibling rivalry, travel

Scripture Connections: Immigrant stories from the Holy Scriptures such as Ruth & Naomi traveling to Bethlehem or Mary, Joseph, & Jesus to Egypt.

Idea(s) for Application: Immigrant stories are easily connected to stories and directives in the Old and New Testaments. This is a time of year when families often travel far, often across borders, to return home. Talk with your children about this ritual. Explain how having a godly home that you can return to via travel or memory will always ground them in their faith and their identity just as it did with so many Bible characters.   

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